Monday, 6 October 2008

Emotional reading

On the topic of reading, I just finished a fantastic, but oh so emotional book. I almost didn't write about it because it is in Swedish and as far as I know it hasn't been translated yet so it felt a bit unfair to my non-Swedish speaking readers to write about it.

However, this book took over my emotions for the whole four, five days I spent reading it. Mig äger ingen ('nobody owns me', or directly translated 'me, nobody owns') by Åsa Linderborg is the story of her upbringing and her father's life from when she was three, the age at which her mother left them. She perfectly portrays the life of the daughter of an alcoholic man. What makes the book so sad, in my view, is the love and affection for her father that shines through the awful childhood she has. From not washing (her body, that is) until the weekend visits at her aunt's house, to her father taking money given to her by her grandmother, to buy booze.

It is the love and the lack of accusation, resentment or bitterness that makes it all so sad. The fact that the father did show her love and she loved him back no matter how horrible their reality was. The realisation of how beautiful their life could have been had her father not been caught in the chains of alcoholism. Saddest of all is that this is the reality for so many children of the world, a reality that haunts these children into their adult years.

As I read through the last few chapters, I had to stop after every two or three pages, pausing to try and stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks, but it was impossible. The Ghana International Airlines staff looked at me strangely when I, with red, puffed eyes asked for some tissues then dove back into the book.

I finished reading an hour to landing and twenty four hours later I still feel sad every now and then when I recall something from the book. I wish this book could be given to all alcoholic fathers for them to realise how they sculpt and damage their children's lives. Then again, I doubt that any reading can help when you're in the deepest grips of alcoholism.

Lastly, I hope that this book will soon be translated into English (if it hasn't already been), so that you all get the opportunity to read it.


Nana Yaw Asiedu said...


Amazing that you should post on a book you just read, because I am writing a post on Mine Boy, which I read, again, last weekend.

About your book, sorry I do not see any love from her father (from your synopsis). Just natural feeling between 2 humans. Love would have done something to/about his habit.

I'll definitely look out for the translation.

Maya said...

Great minds Nana Yaw, great minds!

I know, I think you have to read the book to see the love, it really comes out more in her adult life. In the beginning I couldn't understand him, or her mother who lived in the same town and still let her daughter grow up in such a horrible household, but as I read further, the love was there for her and her children. He probably had a constant battle between the love of alcohol and the love for her.

Look forward to reading your review on Mine Boy!

Anna said...

jo boken var kanon, som du vet lånade jag titeln till min blogg. :)
Den var bra och jag kände mig kluven....tyckte synd om henne men även om honom faktiskt, trots allt..
har du hämtat dig från alla dina resor? blev det nån bröllopsresa?
hoppas ni ahr det bra och att du trivs inne i Accra, för ni bor där eller? kram

Maya said...

Jag håller nog med, tyckte på ett sätt nästan mer synd om honom, han var ju fast i helvetet och levde med alla skuldkänslor men kunde inte frigöra sig. Hemskt bra bok iaf!

Just nu är jag förkyld, förmodligen pga för mycket resande och klimatförändringar. Brölllopsresa i Monaco, helt underbart var det!


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