Sunday, September 16, 2007

Love and Other Impossible Pursuits....

I've never been in a book club before but when Mel over at mentioned that the new book was by Ayelet Waldman I had to sign up. I love her!!

So how does an online book club work? Basically we read the book and then blog is response to questions posed by other bloggers.....and then bounce all over the internet reading and responding to other blogs about the book.

Love and Other Impossible Pursuits is the story of Emilia's struggle with the loss of her infant daughter and her relationship with her stepson. I laughed out loud and cried as well. I couldn't put the book down and read it in less than 2 days.

And now onto the questions....

1. Throughout the book my feelings towards Emilia were conflicted. If you felt that way too, why did you also feel that way?

Conflicted is a great way to describe my feelings toward Emilia. Part of me loved her but she was often a difficult character to love. Her relationship with her husband started as adultery. Usually I'm really put off by books, movies, shows, etc where adultery occurs. I almost stopped watching Grey's Anatomy over the whole George/Izzy thing..... But Emilia was really real too. I mean, she's struggling with her daughter's death and that pain is so raw and real feeling. Her relationship with William has its ups and downs but you can see that sometimes she is really trying to make it work. I can only imagine that being a stepmom is a difficult job....especially when the child is as resistant as William is and when the 1st wife is as crazy as Caroline in the novel.

In the end I loved Emilia. She isn't perfect but she's lovable. I was rooting for her, Jack and William. Emilia evolves through the novel. Emilia's life is messy and she is far from perfect.....just like a real person.

What sort of relationship do you have with your significant other? Do you feel he/she is your bashert? What effect has IF/loss had on your emotional and/or physical relationship?

I love my husband but I don't think he's my bashert. I don't believe in the idea of a "soul mate." I think focusing on soul mates allows people to ignore the fact that relationships take work. JW "gets" me. He makes me laugh. He's my best friend but our relationship works because we work at making it work. Sometimes it is easy but sometimes it is a lot of work. I think the idea of bashert makes it difficult to handle when things go badly in a relationship, when you're mad at your partner or when things just aren't "clicking." Marriage is a roller coaster (as is life). There are highs and lows.

IF has had a huge effect on our relationship. There have been a lot of lows on this journey and JW has been in the trenches with me. I feel like we are closer than before. I've seen a side of him that I didn't see while we were dating and the first two years of our marriage. I wish we had a baby but I am thankful for what we've learned about each other on this journey. I think it has changed our relationship in a lot of positive ways. Of course I can't wait to see how being parents changes us as well.

Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston (with author participation!).


Blogger Lori said...

I like what you say about marriage, and that the concept of bashert can actually get in your way during difficult times.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

I agree with comments. I also found Emilia difficult to love, but difficult not to empathize with and care for as the story progressed.

I also am not a big fan of the bashert idea because I believe that there are any number of paths to happiness in relationships, and there is not just a single person who can take you there. I love my husband very much, but I too like to think that the work we have put into the relationship is one of the reasons we are so close.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Ms. Planner said...

I enjoyed reading what you wrote about the highs and lows of a marriage. I often refer to it as the "ebb and flow."

Congratulations on the fertilization report. I have my fingers crossed for you...

12:26 PM  
Blogger The Town Criers said...

I love your description of Emilia. It's true--that messy life, those messy emotions, made her feel like a very real person to me. It drew me into the story.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

I feel the same way about the main character. She was so hard to sympathize with but when it was all said and done, I felt so connected to her that I was also rooting for her.

And I also agree (and I'm probably in the minority) that there is no such thing as "soul mates". I believe in mutual attraction but I think it all comes down to someone you connect with and someone who suits you. Someone who is committed to making it work with you. Someone you can communicate with. Relationships are definitely not easy and they are not always "magical".

Great post!

5:41 PM  
Blogger Ayelet said...

Hey, I love you too!
Thanks so much for reading...and I agree. I DO feel like my husband is my bashert, but you know what? It doesn't matter. Marriage is about WORK. Sticking it out when times get really grim. Trying to remember to be on the same side.

Bashert, shmashert. It's work, baby!

9:33 PM  
Blogger Waiting Amy said...

Emilia was tough to love at times, but I did anyway. I felt she embodied some of the less attractive parts of many of us. She was definitely very real to me too. And that made it easier to love her, faults and all.

I believe my husband is my bashert, but not in a magical way. Just that he is the complement to me. Work is still VERY important to keep things going, but that initial fit is there.

Good luck with everything!

11:52 AM  

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