Friday, November 27, 2015

The Leftovers

So, I finished The Leftovers. 
It was a close call. I have to return it today, at the library and I still needed to read a 100+ pages, but I managed.

It helps that it's easy to digest. The words and sentences don't say one thing, and mean ten other things. In The Leftovers you read want you need to know, with a touch of too much description and repetition.

The essence of this novel is of a kind of Rapture. Very randomly a lot of people have vanished, not in a way of not returning home or so, but literally vanished in thin air. One second they were there, the other they were gone. It's not a particular kind of people that had vanished, it varied from children, parents, good people, bad people, the one that a little bit of both.

This novel follows the lives of those left behind, trying to comprehend what happened, trying to come to terms with having lost one of their loved ones without any explanation whatsoever.
It's not the 'right after' we get a look at, but the Rapture has happened a few years ago.

Some are returning back to a normal life, others can't shake the loss of their loved ones off. New religions sprout like weeds, others fall to ruin. Families are torn apart, from sadness or blame and happiness is an exotic thing not really suitable in this new world.

In all this mess the author concentrated on one particular family, the Garvey's.
Peter is the mayor and succesful businessman. He's fine to look at and most important of all in this story, he hasn't lost anyone to the Rapture.
Laurie, his wife, struggled together with a friend due to the loss of that friend's daughter. When her friend joins a new religion, The Guilty Remnants, she follows soon after, leaving her family behind for a life in white clothing, smoking and not talking.
Tom, their son, having just left for college, falls prey to a preacher Holy Wayne and still gets entangled in that world when the preacher himself gets endicted.
Jill, their daughter, still going to high school, is rebelling against the loss of friends and more important the loss of her mother who went away of own accord.

Around them circle other people who are trying to grieve their own way, to make peace with a new life they never asked for.

The writing is fine. It's not over the top magnificent, but it tells you what you need to know, although, like I mentioned before, it might be a tad less descriptive. It doesn't add colour to the world, it just diverts you from the feels this story could have.
It started well enough, a little sudden, but Perrotta made good for that the first 100 pages.
Then it kind of got a little 'meh' in the middle part, the part I had to force myself to read at least one chapter a day.
In the end, the pace picked up again and I literally was feeling tightchested when I read the last twenty pages. It could've gone either way, of course it was a little too much of a good ending for some of the characters, but I forgive the writer for this. Any other way and I would've been shedding a tear or two.

I haven't watched the TV-series, not sure if i'm going to. The novel was fine, I'm glad it's just the one and not a part of a series. I still have questions, but it's not the meaning of a book to answer everything. Having those questions makes you think longer about the meaning of all of this and even translate it back into your own life. (Which is kind of scary!)

Still, a good book to read on a wintery day, when you're tucked in a blanket and having a hot cup of coffee or tea at arm's length.