I was thinking of calling this blog post “Who Let the Dogs Out #2”, but I decided that didn’t do justice to the epic level of awesome reached by the book it concerns.
I’ve read some incredible books already on this blog tour of Australia. However, this book is one of the best books I’ve read Ever. Or, as Kanye would say, Of. All. Time.
I actually finished it a week ago. It’s taken this long for me to feel capable of processing it.
It’s called The Pause. It’s by John Larkin. And it’s an important book.
I’ve been visited by the black dog on and off for most of my life. He first came to see me when I was a little tacker, as I processed the after-effects of my family splitting up. Later, as a teenager, he came for a long time. A couple of not-too-nice people in my life opened the door and he came bounding in, bringing his toothbrush, obviously expecting to stay. And stay he did until I finally kicked him to the kerb in my last year of high school.
Then he was back when I was twenty-one.
And again at twenty-seven.
And after the birth of my precious Tiger, he came again and I grappled with feeling of inadequacy in motherhood. This feeling has never gone away and so the dog has always been in the shadows,
Someone let him in again with his toothbrush fairly recently. I’ve given him his marching orders and he seems to have taken obedience training while he’s been away but still, this book …
Because it’s about a black dog. It’s about helplessness and loneliness and feelings of failure and believing your life is so bleak and dark and bottomless in its misery that it might as well be over. It’s about deciding that the blackness must end. It’s about running for a speeding train and …
And what comes next? A life unlived. A life to be lived. A second chance. Or at least the imagination of one.
This book is enormously powerful. It was important to me. It will be important to so many, particularly young people. It is a novel that screams “It gets better” with every turning page.
I am so glad John Larkin paused. I am glad this book was written. I am grateful for him, for it.
I am grateful too, oddly enough, for my own black dog. He shows me darkness. But in words and in the glowing face of my Tiger, I find light.
And there will always be more words, more books, and so life goes on and the blog tour does too.
For the next stop, I’m looping sneakily back around to Victoria, so I can delve into a book I’ve been longing to read. I’m a huge fan of Gabrielle Williams. I adored Beatle Meets Destiny. And who could resist a book with a title as awesome as, The Guy, The Girl, The Artist and His Ex? See you next time.