Wednesday, May 16, 2012

YA Highway Road: Trip Wednesday #18


"Road  Trip  Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors  post a  weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be  answered.  In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination  and get  everybody's unique take on the topic." 

Today's question on the  YA  Highway Road Trip is:

What book brings back memories?

(Source)
The better question for me would be what book doesn't bring back a memory? Just like songs and smells, I associate books with the time and place in which I experienced them. Those connections accumulate with favorite books, as I form new associations every time I reread them. 

I suppose one of my favorite book memories is a little strange, because it's sad. I was about 8 or 9, and reading Little Women in our finished basement. Incidentally, it's starting to feel like I talk about Little Women every other post. Note to self: blog moratorium on Alcott.

Back to the basement. My zebra finches lived down there, and so did my plastic pony on a spring frame that almost seemed real when you rode it.  When I came to the part where Beth dies, I sobbed and sobbed. Crying over art was not a new experience, because I was a pretty weird little kid. I cried so hard at the end of E.T. that we were the last ones to leave the theater. My mom had to pry me from my seat. I also used to cry as a toddler when my parents told me sad nursery rhymes, like "Hush Little Baby." (The theme is deeply depressing, people!)

But I hadn't read a book that broke my heart until Little Women. A little bit later, Black Beauty would wreck me, but Little Women was the first book that hurt me. It was so heart-wrenching in part because Beth's death is drawn out for maximum effect. But she's also the epitome of female virtue, so it was like if Beth can die as a result of doing a good deed, the rest of us are screwed! I resolved to never do a good deed so that I would live forever. Okay, not really. But I'll never forget wiping my eyes on my sleeve, looking up from the book and feeling like the world had become a little more lonely.

11 comments:

  1. I think this book has intense meaning for anyone who has read it. It certainly shook me. What a great post!

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    1. Thank you! It is a pretty complex book.

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  2. Awww... that's sad, Tarah, and yet cool that you felt so connected to the book and the characters.

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    1. You know, that's really it. I felt like I was living in the book, as Jo's shadow.

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  3. Oh my gosh, I loved LW. And I'm sad to hear it broke your heart! Curse you for dying, Beth! *shakes fist* Also, TOTALLY AGREE with the 'Hush little baby' song - I didn't realise how darn creepy it is until I heard someone singing it on TV. Yikes.

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    1. Thank you!! I really haven't talked to many people about creepy nursery rhymes. It's good to hear from someone else who's had this experience!

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  4. AW! That's so sad. But what a great memory. Some of the best books are the ones that rip us up!

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    1. I know! Alcott was so good at the tearjerker scenes.

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  5. That's so sad! But what a neat memory...I think it's the books that move us that stick with us the longest, positive or negative.

    Now you make me want to go read this again--I have it on my nook. Haven't read it in probably twenty years.

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    1. Yes, sometimes I think sad/traumatic memories make more of an impact than happy ones. Not fair! I haven't reread it in a while, but I know that I'll enjoy it when I do.

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  6. I think it is books like Little Women that form our desires and passions for reading and drifting further and further into our own wonderlands! Love your blog, very creative.

    New follower here.

    Chelsey@Charming Chelsey's

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