Friday, September 11, 2015

The Number 7 by Jessica Lidh

Historical Fiction
This isn't my regular book review.  I just want to put some examples of beautiful writing that I found in this book.  I am very intrigued by the events in this book, and I am currently doing a little research about whether or not it really happened.  I have this book labeled historical fiction, but it reads more like a realistic fiction book for most of the time.

Quintessential Quotes:
"This is what I've learned:  family secrets are never buried with their dead.  They can't fit in the coffins; they don't ignite in the crematoriums.  They linger and drift like the smoke of an abandoned cigarette."   -- page 7

I love this quote!  What an interesting image it brings to mind.  We sometimes like to think that a secret will die with the person who is keeping it, but this quote leads me to think otherwise.  Especially with those big secrets.  Somebody always finds out.  Saying that the secrets can't fit in the coffin makes the secret, in this case, sound even more ominous.  I really wanted to keep reading after I read that.

Another quote I love is when Louisa was describing her family.

"The truth is, we'd all become hermit crabs.  Our shells were made of the same substance: vivid memories of Mom, lost memories of Mom, fleeting memories of Mom.  We shed our shells just enough in the mornings, sloughing them off and hiding them under the covers of our beds or in between the tiles and the grout in the shower, but when returned in the evenings, we'd find them - and desperately retreat back into them."  -- p. 23

Wow!  I feel so bad for this family who lost their mother to cancer about five years before the book began.  Louisa goes on to say that her shell is thin.  She is desperate for someone to break through and help her with her grief.  But her sister's shell is thick - she is so deep into her grief that Louisa is worried about how her sister will handle it.  This quote is a good example of foreshadowing because we can assume that those shells will crack at some point in the book.

The last quote is from the end of the book.  This quote brings the book full circle with another personification of secrets.

"The problem with hiding secrets is they run a lot faster than we do.  They're bound to catch up with us sometime or another."  -- p. 271

I can relate to this quote even more than the other one.  I feel like secrets really do have a life of their own.  They just beg to released from my head.  The running faster than we do part is exactly how I feel sometimes when I know something that others do not and I am trying desperately NOT to spill!

All in all, this book was pretty good.  It gets a little slow in the middle (like most books), and there is a romance involved, but I enjoyed the secret aspect.  It kept me reading until the end.

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