Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
Today, a great beach read came out in paperback–perfect for toting in your bag and leaving by the pool for someone else when you’re finished. I got hooked on Taylor Jenkins Reid‘s new novel, Forever Interrupted. It’s about what happens after your worst fear comes true. In this case, the main character, Elsie, loses her husband after she asks him to get her Fruity Pebbles. His bike ride to the store goes horribly wrong. Does she lay down and die? Yes, at first. But not for long. Check out this book, which received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly, and see what inspired this debut novelist to write about such a tragic subject. Taylor Jenkins Reid tells us about her new novel below:
“I started writing Forever, Interrupted out of fear.
Shortly after my husband and I got married, I found myself constantly plagued by the idea that he would die. I would start to worry if he was a few minutes late to meet me. I cried for days after seeing The Time Traveler’s Wife in the theater. Sometimes, I would lay in bed unable to sleep, worried I was about to lose the best thing that had ever happened to me. It didn’t matter that my fears were unfounded and irrational; they still haunted and paralyzed me. What if. What if. What if.
In hindsight, I can see that I was scared of being happy. I can see that my husband, and my life with him, seemed too good to be true. I understand why I was so certain that tragedy was looming, waiting for me just around the bend. I had to learn that sometimes wonderful, beautiful, fulfilling things happen to you, and the point of life isn’t to worry when they will end but to enjoy and cherish them.
But I didn’t know that then. I just knew that this feeling was inside of me, and I had to get it out. I needed an outlet for my fears, and I figured the only way to out was through.
So I started writing a book.
I created the character of Elsie Porter and within the first ten pages of the story, I killed off her new husband. I then proceeded to put every fear I had into her words. I wrote about the panic and shock that terrified me. I wrote about the loneliness and desperation that kept me up at night. I let loose on the page.
And then I found that something sort of extraordinary happened: Elsie fought back.
I would have sworn to you, as I lay in bed terrified I would lose my own husband, that when someone loses a spouse, it means their life is over. And yet, I found myself writing a book about a woman that learns to get back up.
The fact of the matter was, when I really considered what it would be like to face a loss like this, I didn’t believe it was the end of the world. In the deepest part of me, I believed in hope. I believed it was possible to be happy again.
And suddenly I realized that the book I had been writing wasn’t about fear or grief as much as it was about hope and friendship. Yes, this is a story about a woman losing her husband. But more to the point, it’s a story about how a woman puts her life back together after it happens. Elsie was stronger than I realized she was when I made her up.
And now, when I think back to the person I was when I started writing this book, I want to tell her to stop tossing and turning and get some sleep. I want to tell her that worrying gets you nowhere. The fact is, the world has a number of things in store for us and we have no idea what they are.
But we also have no idea how strong we will become.”Add a Comment