Rachel's Reviews > Blood Music

Blood Music by Jessie Prichard Hunter
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's review
Jun 26, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: the-romantic-agony
Read in June, 2009 , read count: Once

WARNING: May contain triggers for violence/assault.

People hurt one another, says this mournful and tentative thriller by first-time novelist Jessie Prichard Hunter, people hurt one another and then they hurt one another and then they hurt one another. A little boy grows up to be a murderer from the delicate bruises around his saintly mother's eyes and the crystalline classical music that she plays for him. He learns no way to love but through the garish precision of knife wounds. People hurt one another and then they hurt one another and then they hurt one another. A young woman is brutally killed and her fragile elder brother swears revenge. Another young woman is raped by the murderer, and her hands join with her fellow victim's brother's over an antique dagger. People hurt one another. A 'modern', 'healthy' young mother begins to fear her husband after his hands close over her neck during sex. People hurt one another.

Yes, I want to say back to the author, yes, we hurt one another. We do terrible, unimaginable things, us human beings. And then we are left with calluses, scars, ravines and canyons gaping within our minds. Sometimes, then, we hurt one another more. But sometimes we don't. Sometimes we work to close up the ravines with whatever materials are at our disposal. We are kind to our lovers when they flinch or fear or flare out in anger. We hurt one another another and we hurt one another but we love one another too.

I do not want to encourage the ultimately damaging myth that, by loving damaged and dangerous people we may cure them. That leads to men and women staying in emotionally and physically abusive relationships to the point that they themselves are hurt rather than being able to heal others. But I do believe in the human ability to live through the terrible and turn it into something beautiful, worthwhile, life-giving. I believe that the human mind and capacity for empathy is deeper than Hunter's simplistic criminal psychology would have us believe. I believe that individuals may harbor sadistic or masochistic desires, either orientationally or as a way of dealing with an event in their lives, and may express those desires in a way that does not cause further harm to those around us. I believe that we can heal.

I understand the mindset from which Hunter is coming in writing this book, and I can sympathize with it. But, for myself, I think there is more to be said.

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