In Physics, there is a phenomenon called the "Butterfly Effect." - it is a means of acknowledging how everything is interrelated by demonstrating how...moreIn Physics, there is a phenomenon called the "Butterfly Effect." - it is a means of acknowledging how everything is interrelated by demonstrating how a seemingly inconsequential event of a butterfly flapping its wings in China can influence a hurricane on the other side of the planet.
In a sentence, I see this story as an exploration of cause and effect; it is a "Butterfly flapping its wings in China" kind of story. It is a story about doing the 'right' thing without fully understanding that our decisions are reactive and highly focused upon where we are in our respective life paths.
Edwards reminds us that what we consider to be 'right' usually makes sense, and only to us. The Memory keepers Daughter is character study that explores how we go about defining 'rightness' from our own limited frame of reference. Since our motivations derive their impetus from life experience - and each experience is highly individualized, we are continually at risk of losing the ability to understand how our right to exist is continually at odds with others' right to exist as well.
Self-perception is shaped by our personal exposure to death, poverty, shame. To a person, we have all felt an incessant need to shake our fists at the universe, and how we go about this self-assertion will undoubtedly have an impact on everything and everyone around us. In short, when life is first-person subjective, we fail to grasp the far-reaching consequences attached to spur of the moment decisions.
Edwards' story reminds us all that there are a myriad of reasons why we do what we do, and explores how we go about making up our minds. She explores how our actions can be motivated by doing what we consider right - often oblivious to how our actions impact the rest of the world.
For me the ultimate irony lies in Phoebe's perspective; so innocent yet focused, and far more genuine than any other character.
This is my first Faulkner book. Wow. It bears a little getting used to and I must admit that I relied on a couple of background books in order to get...moreThis is my first Faulkner book. Wow. It bears a little getting used to and I must admit that I relied on a couple of background books in order to get me into the right frame of mind to understand how the book is set up, but it is an incredible story. I now understand why Faulkner is so highly revered.(less)
I'm not sure what all the hype was about. Maybe the fact that it dragged on at least twice as long as it could have, is why I am left scratching my he...moreI'm not sure what all the hype was about. Maybe the fact that it dragged on at least twice as long as it could have, is why I am left scratching my head.
Joseph Heller uses tons of adverbs in each sentence and there is so much redundancy in his writing that, to my way of thinking, it got in the way of his message. Perhaps Catch-22's overall flow is reflective of the book's theme. But, I found most of the characters initially intriguing and eventually unimpressive - even annoying. I tried to like the book and I got that catch-22 is about the insanity of institutions driven by personal agendas. It felt like I was watching an endless loop of M.A.S.H. - or, worse yet, being lost at sea or marooned on desert island - with the likes of Oliver North, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney as my only companions.
While Heller captured various nuances of Human behavior and the insanity of war, in the end, his book just wore me out. Well, President Eisenhower did warn us about the dangers of the military industrial complex. Heller fictionalized it and time has proven both out. I understand it is supposed to be funny - and it might be - if it wasn't so flipping accurate.(less)