TBML's Reviews > The Illumination

The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier
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Feb 09, 11

Read in February, 2011

A journal passes through the hands of several people and throughout we see their pain-ridden circumstances and the extraordinary means by which they are connected by their pain. Can pain be beautiful? Is there meaning in suffering? This is a profound and inquisitive novel of sorrow and perseverance. Brockmeier succeeds in describing the depressing circumstances of the characters. Some readers may find this uplifting, but I felt pained by the suffering the novel seeks to enlighten "illuminate". Moreover, Brockmeier is successful in his attempt to put forth the essential question without unnecessary persuasion, didacticism or prejudice in a magical realistic fiction way. What purpose does pain serve in contemporary lives? Brockmeier begs the question what part of suffering meets a need for God-like satisfaction? Who really suffers, to what extend and why is it necessary? Louanne
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