Va’ dove ti porta il cuore

May 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

This book was recommended to me by a friend, and, seeing as it tends to make quite a few displays of books here in Italy, I decided to add it to my pile of random books with pretty covers (yes, I am shallow and judge all books by their front cover– which happened to be one of the reasons that I wasn’t personally all-too-excited about this title… and, as this not-too-impressive skill does not usually fail me, I wasn’t surprised when this book didn’t rattle my heart in any way).

Va’ dove ti porta il cuore, by Susanna Tamaro, is a book about acceptance and moving on.  At least, that’s what I got out of it.  The book consists of a series of letters that a dying woman writes to her grandchild as a final memoir, hoping that the girl will come back from her world-exploring travels one day, find the manuscript, and understand everything that was blurry and uncomfortable in the past.

And, while I like the idea of such a construction- and I am always an avid fan of time gaps and history-unfolding-itself-through-the-book, I just could not connect with any of the characters.  Maybe I would have developed some sort of stronger attraction toward someone if I had a gloomy child of my own.  But, I failed to grasp the foundations that any of the characters were built upon.  I feel like there were supposed to be some sort of redemption thing going on, and the bettering of ourselves through others, and the bettering of others through time and knowledge, but… when there’s no emotional tie established with any of the characters, you do not really care all that much about them.  Not to mention that with such a static main character, and the whole story in her hand, not much transformation occurs- even with the confessions that she tries to make.

I understand where the book is going, but I feel like the approach wasn’t very furnished, nor developed in enough detail.  I would recommend this book to people lost in life, or with some kind of emotional, hidden burden, that have a level head and can use their emotions as a catharsis for the inspiration that this book is supposed to provide.  I don’t mean to bash; I just feel like it is difficult to relate when you are not in the exact situation of the character.  And, I honestly did hope for some clarity for this sense of “limbo” that I am finding myself in in this time of life, but… alas, no break-throughs.

So… lazy morning read in bed, if you wish.  Or, lazy afternoon lounge at the side of the lake.

And, while most of the opinions shared here were a little too old-fashioned for my favour, I did appreciate this particular quote:

<<E’ vero, con il pensiero lo sappiamo tutti, ma saperlo con il pensiero e’ una cosa, saperlo con il cuore e’ un’altra, completamente diversa.>>

Point of the book, in short:  go where your heart takes you.  Even if none of the characters in the book did so with any notable fulfillment.

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