I was reading an article on a current best selling novel. It features child rape and the aftermath of such rape. I had been considering reading said book because as an author I think it's important to read current trends and big hits. But right then and there I decided I will not read this book. The article was about how this book will be used to help victims of such violence almost as therapy. Wonderful. I think that's fabulous. I think that such books should exist and people can read anything they want to read and if it helps people, so much the better. But >I< don't have to read it.
I don't bury my head in the sand. I read newspapers daily, listen to real news, keep myself politically informed (sometimes too much I'm afraid). I grew up on stories of hardship from my parents who grew up during WWII (They experienced bombing, hunger, death, injustice) and then the takeover of Hungary by the Soviets. So really I'm not ignorant or hiding from reality.
When I read a novel, I want to escape. I want to be carried away to a different world and I want to celebrate the triumph of the human will. OK, I don't know how said book ends, and I am inferring that it does end with the triumph of human will, but my own soul doesn't want to wade through the morass of human cruelty and depredation to get there. I want entertainment. To me, the subject matter isn't entertainment. Hell, I write romance novels. I want the HEA (happily ever after).
One of my favorite movies is The Shawshank Redemption. It, too, has a difficult subject matter, but, my God, how uplifting it is. Love that movie. But another of my all time favorites is Notting Hill. I love the post-apocalyptic YA novel The Hunger Games, but one of my favorite novels is also Bewitching. I am not a one note individual. I read and watch things for entertainment, and becoming thoroughly depressed is NOT my idea of entertainment.
So I'll pass on that best seller. I tried one before that everyone raved about and the story left me feeling ill. I won't do it again. Does it mean I'm not as strong as some people? Who knows? I've never been tested to that extreme before. Can any of us predict how we will respond when faced with horrifying situations? But I've had my share of troubles, some of them major and on-going, and I'd like to think that I've faced them with aplomb and have come through them with an optimistic outlook. I try to improve the world I've been given rather than weigh it down with more horror (not speaking about the horror genre here; I'm speaking of real horror, the horror humans do to one another).
Give me escapism and don't judge me. In return I won't judge you if you read novels that need Prozac to get through.
Books I'm reading now:
The Sixth Surrender by Hana Samek Norton
(only one this time because I'm on deadline and back at work)