Sunday, June 13, 2010

Capturing love.

I picked up Joshua Henkin's Matrimony yesterday while trying to kill time at Barnes and Noble, and I was immediately sucked in.  It's such an ordinary story in the sense that it's just about people and relationships, and yet he managed to pull me in immediately.  How do you do that?  As a writer, I'm trying to figure out what the secret is.  Is it his characterizations of the people?  The language?  I don't know. 


The book starts with the beginnings of a relationship in college.  It made me think of my own time in college.  I don't think another relationship is as pure of heart yet as intense as the first real relationship you ever have.  The first time you fall in love.  Reading these scenes make think of my college relationship, and I feel Henkin does such a good job of capturing the complete faith and abandon with which two college kids fall in love.

Also, I really like this, on the words "I love you":

What freighted words those were, reserved for so few people sometimes it seemed they were never to be used at all.  She recalled being a child, four, five, six when she said those words to her teachers and classmates, when it seemed there wasn't anybody she didn't love.  Then a hardening set in, a calcifying of the heart, and you didn't love anyone any longer, or at least you didn't say you did, so that now she couldn't remember the last time she'd said those words to anyone besides Julian, when there were other people she loved, her family, certainly.
--[pg. 78-79, Matrimony]

Good stuff.