Sunday, October 23, 2005

Latest Books

The two last books I have read are Jamais sans ma fille (in English: Not Without My Daughter) and Et si c'etait vrai (in English: If Only it Were True). I put the titles in both French and English because I read them in French.

"Jamais sans ma fille" by Betty Mahmoody is the true story of an American woman who married an Iranian Doctor. One day she agrees to go to Iran to visit her husband's family, even though she is worried that something bad will happen to her and her daughter. It was supposed to be a 10-day vacation, but her husband kept her and her daughter "prisoners". She could not ask for the help of the American Embassy, because she was regarded as Iranian since she had married an Iranian man. It took her a year and a half to find a way to go back to the US with her daughter.
This story was really interesting because it describes the way Iranian people live. I am aware of the fact that it is described by a woman who is there against her will so the description might be biased. It seems like their way of life is just so totally different from the Western way of life.

The story is also really stressful as it happens during the war between Iran and Irak. A lot of times, the alarms would sound in the city, and planes would start throwing bombs over people's head. It does help realize how lucky we are to be living in a place where we don't have to experience such traumatizing things. A couple of days after reading this book, I actualy dreamed that I was shot at while being in a car covered by a drape so I couldn't see where the shot was coming from....not a good dream!

The second book is definitely lighter. "Et si c'etait vrai" from Marc Levy, tells the story of a woman who has a car accident and ends up in the coma. But that's not it! Even though her body lies inert at the hospital, her soul travels around, and as she hangs out in the apartment where she lived before the accident, the new guy who rents the apartment sees her, and is the first and the only one to be able to see her.

It is a realy sweet and romantic comedy, that has a lot of interesting comments about life. One of my favorite part is when Lauren tells Arthur: "Imagine that you won a lottery, and the price would be what follows. Every morning a bank account would be open with $86,400 for you. But there are 2 rules to follow. The first one is that anything that you haven't spent during the day would disappear at night, you can't cheat, you can't transfer the money to another account, you can only spend it, but every morning when you wake up, there is a new account for you with $86,400 for the day. The second rule is that the bank can stop the game without telling you: at any time they can tell you that it's over, that they close the account, and that there will not be anymore money. What would you do?" After telling her what he would do with the money Lauren explains: "We all have this magic bank, it is time! Every morning when we wake up, we have a credit of 86,400 minutes for the day, and when we go to bed at night, what we didn't live during that day islost, yesterday has passed. Every morning this magic starts again, we have a credit of 86,400 seconds of life, and we play with this unbendable rule: the bank can close our account at any time, without warning us: at any time, life can stop." (I'm sorry it seems to be a recurring theme lately...)

I thought that the analogy was realy interesting, and so true. Trying to enjoy life as much as possible is a good goal to strive for I think.


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