Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Reading Your Fears

I'm not sure why this happens, but occasionally I find myself reading books that mirror my life in odd ways.

For example, I just finished reading Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand, and am now reading Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner. Both books (spoiler alert) contain characters who have recently lost babies to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Coincidentally, the babies in both books were ten weeks old. My son is almost fifteen weeks and has been perfectly, beautifully healthy thus far, but I can't read these books in sequence and not walk around with the fear that something so terrible could happen to him, too. The thought plagues me every time I put him to sleep, much more now than it had before I read the books. If I had known about these plot points, I wouldn't have started the books in the first place, but I didn't realize it until I was far enough in to be engaged with the other characters. So I'm just sticking it out until it's over, and the next book I read will have absolutely nothing to do with babies or mothering at all.

Incidentally, Little Earthquakes, other than the SIDS-affected character, is a great book for new mothers. Each of the three new mothers in the book has different parenting styles, marriage situations and life challenges, and it provides a good perspective for those who think there's only one best way to raise a child.

Do you sometimes find that books you read have eerie connections to your life, or hit a little too close to home with a fear or an insecurity?

1 comment:

  1. Books that hit too close to home- Those are the kind of books that stick with me. Books that are meant to be scary I can usually handle(I have read the Shining a lot of times, for example). But books that just hit on a fear of mine are hard to shake.

    In 8th grade I read The Hot Zone. It really, really freaked me out.

    And a few years ago I was reading a lot of Jodi Piccoult, and I read Nineteen Minutes. (it's about a school shooting). Can't shake that one either.