“Everyone would remember Peter for nineteen minutes of his life, but what about the other nine million? Lacy would have to be the keeper of those, because it was the only way for that part of Peter to stay alive. For every recollection of him that involved a bullet or a scream, she would have a hundred others of a little boy splashing in a pond, or riding a bicycle for the first time, or waving from the top of a jungle gym.” (excerpt from the book Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult)
“If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were? What if the face you showed the world turned out to be a mask… with nothing beneath it?”
As I have mentioned before in posts, I love to read. Books and I go together like peanut butter and jelly, its just always been that way. I am not a shopper, but you can lose me in a bookstore.
I read a variety of books, and one of my favorite author’s in the fiction category is Jodi Picoult. She writes in a way that really makes you think, her books are not light reading. They deal with heavy, controversial issues. What would you do in their shoes? You feel empathy for both characters on different sides of the issue, and Jodi raises questions, but doesn’t give a pat dry answer, for sometimes what you may have thought had an easy answer doesn’t.
In her book “Nineteen Minutes” book, a tragedy happens at a High School, a classmate goes on a shooting spree. I know, sadly, that is not fictional at all. But in this book Jodi delves into the heart of a parent, not just the heart of the parents of the victims but the heart of the shooter’s Mom.
There are many poignant scenes throughout the book. In one scene the court session had just taken a break and the Mother of Peter, the shooter, was in tears. Her friend came up to her and she said, “I remember … He used to like peanut butter on the top half of the bread and marshmallow fluff on the bottom. And he could find anything I dropped, my contact lens, an earring, a straight pin – before it got lost permanently. Something still exists as long as there’s someone around to remember it, right?”
My heart ached, yes, I knew I was reading fiction but for some parents out there it is far too real! I can’t imagine their pain! How can you comprehend that the baby you held in your arms committed such a violent act?
Sometimes I think it is far too easy to say, well that child must have had a horrible parents to have turned out that way! How often do we blame parents for children’s problems, and yes there are times where the parents are very responsible, but it isn’t always black and white like that!
It is also easy to say how the shooter must be a horrible person, but this book also delves into their heart. Yes, again its fiction, but I think it raises something so important. Not everyone that commits an unthinkable act is a cold hearted person, its more complex than that.
Compassion is something that this world can’t have too much of and its not something that is only for those who you think deserve it. For there usually is so much more to the persons story than what you see and know. Everyone was once a child, who rode a bike, or flew a kite and maybe perhaps even ate a sandwich with peanut butter on the top half of the bread and marshmallow fluff on the bottom.