Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sophie's Choice

Wow. Finally finished Sophie's Choice (over 600 pages, and I only read before bed). It took me a bit to read because while it was interesting, it had a lot of what I call "SAT" words in it -- you know, those long words you know you've heard or read before but aren't quite sure what they mean, only to find them in word associations on the SAT tests? Words like philatelic, moribund, supernumerary, pettifoggery -- and then the many words and phrases in French (I know a bit), German (I know just a few words), and Yiddish (I know a small amount). Oh, and Polish, which I know none. But still, engaging story, very well-written.

If you haven't read it and plan to --
stop reading now so I don't spoil it.

Any book on the Holocaust is grim just by definition, and this book was no exception. But holy God. The last 40 pages, when her "choice" was revealed -- having to choose which of her children to send to the ovens and which would be taken away from her but put in the camps -- immediate tears. I talked to a friend of mine today about this and she said, "How could she even choose?" but it WAS no choice -- had she not picked one, they would have sent BOTH to the ovens.

And then the end, when she gave up Stingo for a double suicide with her psychotic lover. Not sure I can even watch the movie (Meryl Streep plays Sophie so you know that she plays it well) because it would just kill me.
Had to cross the hall to hug Zack after finishing THAT book.

So on to what I hope is a more cheerful one, The Birth of Venus. I've really loved historical fiction like Girl With Pearl Earring, Slammerkin, and The Crimson Petal and the White (highly recommend all of those). OH, and The Historian, which is in my top ten favorites I think.

So many books. Way too little time!

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