ILLUMINATION
Published in

ILLUMINATION

The Pages Which Made Me Linger On

A few thoughts on the prompt: book you can’t forget

Photo by Link Hoang on Unsplash

I was in primary school, around 7 years old when my mum gifted me Enid Blyton’s “Famous Five” and “Secret Seven” and throughout childhood I was hooked on to her innumerable series.

Being someone who practically grew up with books, it’s very hard for me to pick up one book which has touched me. I’ve always loved fiction, though recently I did read a few self-help plus spiritual books. But fiction is something that inspires me a lot — the creations of the writer always enthralling me, to the point that I wrote a poem on Fiction. I believe that it is one of the most difficult genres to write, creating something unique plus at the same time has to be believable, meaningful, not sounding stupid — a job done really well by Dan Brown and also J.K Rowling when she created Harry Potter on a train journey. I’m intrigued by her marvelous writing — it’s not just about magic, but a uniquely crafted piece with many hidden in-between layers.
Well fiction, and also my humongous medical books; the huge blocks whose pages covered with a rainbow of highlighters, the scent emanating whenever I open them.

But this prompt of today, ‘prompted’ me to write about two books that invoked something in me on many different levels, and I still think of those books randomly.

“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini is a beautiful and extremely touching story of two friends — Amir the rich one and Hassan, the son of his servant. Set in Afghanistan and USA, it portrays the true meaning of friendship and loyalty with shards of betrayal; bare and raw, painfully honest. Hassan’s loyalty, generosity, compassion will always stay with you. Amir’s selfishness which later turns into redemption will initially make you cringe at the character; but later his redemption makes you go soft on him, resonating with his feelings. A few scenes so haunting and painstakingly heartbreaking that will make you sob and the tears won’t stop even when the book ends. There’s a wide array of emotions and I’ve cried each time that I’ve read it. It’s an exceptional book, written impeccably.

“Not without my daughter” by Betty Mahmoody is a true story and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The biographical book details the escape of Betty and her four-year-old daughter Mahtob who are tricked into staying forever in Tehran, Iran by her abusive husband. The narrative will send a chill down your spine; taking you through the dark and gory lanes of domestic violence. The lengths to which she goes to escape back to her beloved nation from the tyranny of her husband! Each plan dangerous and somehow not possible to take her daughter with her — makes her scrap them, in order to protect her daughter and escape together, or not at all. It’s a heart-rending, distressing, and a vehement story of a mother-daughter relationship. The four-year-old girl is also truly amazing with her wit, presence of mind, and empathy at such a tender age. Constantly aware that this is a true story, makes you give all your heart to the brave Betty.
I read this when I was very young — around 13–14 years old. It was extremely devastating back then to read about the domestic violence probably breaking my naive bubble. I cried a lot and couldn’t snap out of it for many days — making my mum telling me off for reading the book so young. She still hasn’t been able to even start. But I promise you — it’s a beautiful story despite all the brutal violence.

As William Styron rightly said, “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Saloni Joshi

Saloni Joshi

A doctor by profession, an Eye Surgeon in the making, a bookworm at heart and an avid reader; unleashing my cumulonimbus thoughts in the form of prose & poetry!