I initially read this book about 3 years ago as a Borders employee, since it was a “make” book. Absolutely nothing about it resonated for me. I rarely even mentioned it to customers, because I could not honestly say I “liked” it. I realized that the story was just way too depressing for me, and I couldn’t find much to appreciate or like about the writing style. I rated it one star on goodreads.
Neither of them cared about nor knew how to “love,” sex was just motion that others enjoyed, though I believe at the end they may have each discovered some love in their hearts, but what a long and painful journey! I could appreciate Catherine’s recognition that having enough money to live well as Ralph’s wife was part of the reason she could become more caring, life was just easier…I believe Catherine had known true love for her younger sister, Alice, and although she had worked very hard to provide her with a life much better than her own, Alice, too, turned to prostitution, though she was seduced at age 12 by Catherine’s “sugar daddy” at the time. And I did feel true compassion for Catherine as she watched Alice dying, much as I was able to feel for Antonio as he died.
A theme from this book to which I could relate is just how difficult, and many times impossible, it is to overcome the injustices played out in our childhoods: Ralph for a truly uncaring, cold-hearted, abusive mother who refused to hold him as a baby, etc.; Catherine for being orphaned at such a young age and forced to “make it on her own”; and Antonio for his father’s physical and emotional abuse, and mother’s abandonment of him. I did increase my goodreads rating to 2 of 5 stars.
The questions to consider: