I am prone to buying magazines but have for a longer time now successfully fought the urge to possess every single issue of my three favorite magazines. Or five or eighteen.
However, I lose every time magazines offer free goodies with the regular magazines and so I saw myself forced to buy one of the abominable magazines that want to make me exercise 7 days a week, best for 5 hours per day, starve myself and think about what men really want for the rest of the day. Thank you, London, for stabbing me in the back.
Trying to spend the unexchangeable foreign currency coins as wisely as possible, I came across a wide range of free goodies and finally bought the abominable magazine with a book that promised "a tale of heart and humor that will move you to tears." Who wouldn't want humor and heart and laughing until your eyes water up? Well, if you ask me now...
So far, I have not discovered the humor of the book. But hey, there are still about 50 pages to go, so what do I complain? I have, however, discovered a 3 year-old girl whose parents separate (eyes water up #1) after her baby sister dies two days after it is born (eyes water up #2). She moves to the seaside with her now very poor and clinically depressed mother to a squat and tries to coordinate what she knows of life so far with the life of the less than socially accepted commune therein (eyes water up #3 but with heart, I have to admit). Her father finds a new girlfriend and the not so poor now stepmother accepts her as the guy's package (eyes water up #4) rather than take her into her home. Then the father moves with the new family to the other end of the world (eyes water up #5) and later dies in a car crash (eyes water up #6) before he can come and take his girl with him after her emotionally detached mother is imprisoned (eyes water up #7) for stealing someone else's baby (eyes water up #8) after she suffered another miscarriage (eyes water up #9). Hence, she is forced to live with one of her aunts as the squat's main tenant, who really loves her and cares about her, is deemed unacceptable as her guardian as they are unrelated and she soon finds out that her other aunt's husband was imprisoned for repeatedly raping au pairs (eyes water up #10). On to the foster parents. They are nice, no watering. Until now.
Alternating with this story full of tragedy and sadness that moves me to tears there is the story of the girl as a young mother (who had her son at the age of 15) struggling to make sense of the sudden memories she has of a childhood that she had forgotten after a fire in her parents' house when she was 9 years old. So we follow her while she tries to make sense of these memories, always knowing a little more than she does. A little bit like watching that stupid girl wander into the basement of the old lighthouse all alone on the cliffs without telephone after the lights went out during that thunderstorm.
Note to self: don't by the abominable magazine, even if it offers a free book full of heart and humor. Because the humor may be fully on their side!