Last night I read the new Nora Roberts book, Blood Brothers. It was a really good read (as are all her books), but I found myself feeling really depressed while reading it. Now, normally I read to escape my depression, so getting down while reading a book was very disturbing to me. After I finished the book, I started to think about why it made me feel that way, and I came to an upsetting conclusion.
I may be getting too old and cynical for fairy stories.
I shudder to think it, as I think too much of the magic of life is stolen by our fast paced and pessimistic lifestyle, but it may be true. I was reading this well written, interesting story and I was getting depressed because it is so not real.
In books, the heroine is always good-looking (if not downright gorgeous), intelligent, witty, funny, strong, brave, and successful. The hero is always handsome and strong, good with kids, brave and sensitive, kind and generous. The villain is clearly defined, and there is a sense of certainty that all will be well in the end. You never doubt that Good will triumph over Evil, Love will conquer all, and everyone (except for the villain) will live Happily Ever After.
Where do you find that in real life?
On the other hand, I don't really like books that are too real, either. I want to escape from reality and fall into a book. I want the happy ending, the neatly tied up loose ends. I hate books that leave things "unfinished", because I can never let them go. I read and re-read them, hoping that a satisfying ending will suddenly appear. I stay awake nights worrying about what happened next. And I don't want to be pulled into something that is too gritty and realistic, either. I have too good of an imagination, and I end up scarred for life. I read "A Boy Called It" and the rest of those books once upon a time, and though it was a well written and inspiring story, it was too real. It portrayed the very real and everyday miseries that exist in this world a little too well. I still feel sick whenever I think of it.
I am hoping that I am just in a seasonal funk, because if I lost my enjoyment of reading it would be like losing one of the fundamental parts of my being.
I am off to read some of the books that I have loved for ages. Hopefully I will be able to break out of this icky-ness!