Friday, January 21, 2011

#4 - Lucky Girls by Nell Freudenburger

It was raining and I had a huge ass fight with the hubby. I was just feeling so angry and down and wanted to get away. So at 11PM, with the babies sleeping soundly, I grabbed the first book I found, put on my hoodie and walked and walked til my feet got tired and I got to a Mcdonalds around 3 km from my place. And I read.

This was my state of mind and emotions when I read this book, and as it turns out, the accidental book choice was very apt. Lucky Girls is five stories about girls, (except that one, or maybe two stories aren't really about the girl) living in India and Southeast Asia, or whose lives have been affected by the area. They are Americans, expatriates and tourists who have been seduced by our awesomeness (SEA reprezent! hah).

The stories and the characters are seemingly different. An American woman living in India to be with her married Indian lover who recently died. A couple in the process of divorcing visiting their daughter in Bangkok who has fallen under the spell of her no good Thai boyfriend. An author with depressive tendencies going back to the land of her childhood, India, to be with her failing father, and maybe to learn more about her depressed mother. A girl being tutored for the SATs by an American educated Indian. A letter about a girls relationship with an author who famously writes about Vietnam.

What ties these stories together is its melancholy. These women are at the cusp of great change in their lives. Most, concerning love. A divorce, her first time, a death of a lover, a pregnancy scare. There are no plot twists. Just these girls, living life at the most exotic of places. Not really belonging but so affected and influenced by the places. Oh and the places! I can just feel the humidity of the South East Asian jungle, the lush foliage, the noisy markets. Well, maybe because I live here. It was exotic to me, yet also so very familiar.

I was mesmerized by the book. It perfectly matched my mood when I was reading it and it was good to read about girls like me. Just living life in a crazy place. Though I'm a local and they're foreigners, the feelings of being lost and falling in and out of love, is universal. And then I went home. And I am lucky.

*finished never let me go and the killer's cousin
*currently reading i am legend + short stories
*working on that the corrections review

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