Friday, July 22, 2016

When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes AirWhen Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lately I've been fixated on the concept of time and how little we really have. I've also been obsessively listening to the Hamilton soundtrack where they repeatedly sing about Hamilton, "Why do you write like you're running out of time? Write day and night like you're running out of time?" But Paul Kalanithi really was running out of time. He knew he was going to die and wrote feverishly in an attempt to find meaning in his life, his work, and his impending death. Honestly, the book seems to end before it should - with less moralizing and conclusion than we're used to, but just as John Green's Hazel reminds us, we tend to die in the middle of a sentence with things seemingly undone and and unsaid. The one blessing of Kalanithi's end is that he had some time to prepare.

Had the book ended with just Kalanithi's writing, the book would probably just have been a 4 star book for me, but his wife's epilogue was so honest and poignant that I cried all the way through. Her discussion of love and grief and life will echo with me for years to come. And just as Eliza helped Hamilton's story come to life, Lucy has enabled her husband's story to reach so many others reminding me yet again, that the only thing that matters in this world are the people in our lives and our faith. Everything else is just details.

Happy reading--

1 comment:

The Leakes said...

Love this book. One of my favorites.