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31 Amazing Hours
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Powell's Books Powell's Books

When I dream of my oldest son, off in his anarchical life, it's never a happy dream.  Not any more.  I dream that he is living in a house surrounded by water.  I dream that his foot is so infected I can barely recognize his flesh, the flesh that I am so familiar with.  I dream that he is in an airplane heading up and then, no, heading toward ground, fast.

I wake up in a sweat, so sad, so afraid.  I weep, sad from the innermost part of me.  My core is weeping.  I am sad because I don't know where he is going him.  I cannot follow him.  When I see him, he seems fine, but I don't know the mysteries of his heart.  I was gifted once with that knowledge, but he has been on his own path for so long, that I can only watch him walk away from me, calling out to him from a growing distance.

And the above is why I'm having a hard time reading Masha Hamilton's novel 31 Hours.  It is a wonderful novel, and that's the problem.  She has created such a true, riveting story about a mother and a son, a mother connected so strongly to her son and then that connection is snapped like a twig.  How did it happen?  The mother doesn't know.  She has no idea at all.  This fully present mother is clueless.

I know the answers because I've been too scared to read the novel straight through.  I read Carol's POV, and then I flip to the back of the book, desperate for the answers to the story that I can get--unlike in life, where I have to wait to live through it.  What will Jonas do?  I have to know.  Maybe it will be bearable then.  Maybe I will survive the novel and survive my own life with my son.

I'm only on page 30, but I know what happens on page 229.  This is how I can read this amazing story.  This is the only way, and I move toward page 229 the hard way now, one page at a time.


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OH, Jessica...

You write so well.  You tear my heart.  And probably the heart of many parents.   (Just like the novel you write about.)

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Things are better now!

Nothing like four years to make a difference, thank goodness!

I appreciate your thoughts, Sue.