Jennifer Lyon

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023
Power of Fiction

A long while back, I read the book “Where the Crawdad’s Sing”.  I liked the book, but I didn’t love it like so many others. I remember that, and little else.

Then we saw the movie was on Netflix and Wizard asked if I’d read the book. I said yes, it was okay but I didn’t think it was the breakout, blockbuster book so many others did, but I could NOT remember why. I knew there was something in there that bugged me, while millions of others loved the book with no reservations. This book was on the NY Times for so long, it bothered me that I couldn’t remember what irritated me.

Anyhow, we watched it.

Part way into the movie, Wizard says, “It’s okay, but I don’t buy the kid raising herself in the swap.”

I’m like, “That’s it!! Now I remember, that’s the problem I had!” It was such a huge relief that Wizard answered what was bugging me about that book.

It was also nice that he agreed with me, but that doesn’t always happen. Nor should it! Fiction gives us a safe space to talk about issues and passions and ideas. It’s totally okay that most of the readers out there truly loved this book and believed in the premise. It’s actually okay to disagree :-)

There’s another movie we watched that I won’t name because I’m protecting a relative’s privacy. That movie was about a person suffering from the same condition as our relative, and it moved us deeply. It has also helped us develop better coping methods for us. We use that movie as a touchstone so that when either of us gets off track, the other reminds us of that specific movie. It works and has given us so much more calm patience, which in turn helps things go smoother all around. Before we watched that movie, we’d understood the condition intellectually, but emotionally we were struggling. This movie showed us what it was like to be inside the mind of the person living with the condition. That was, and continues to be, so powerful it help us manage our emotions better.

That is some powerful fiction that is actually making our lives (and hopefully our relative’s) better!

This was a bit rambling, but I’d love it if you share any experiences you have with fiction that you’d like to share.

6 comments to “Power of Fiction”

  1. Silver James
    March 22nd, 2023 at 8:54 am · Link

    I’ll admit this. I couldn’t make it through the first chapter of CRAWDADS. Then again, there are so many books that get super hyped and are “automatic NYT best sellers” that I read the description, shudder and say, “Nope.” What’s sad to me is so many deserving books don’t get that hype and languish. But that’s a discussion for another day.

    Fiction. It’s my preferred reading. I occasionally will read a nonfiction “history” but I read (or listen in my case) for entertainment and escape. I don’t want to be preached at, indoctrinated, or scolded. I want to hide from the real world and get lost in a wonderful story that makes me want to go that place, be with those people, and live that adventure.

    I’m trying to think of any recent books (new-to-me) that have swept me away and I’m coming up with “Nope.” Apparently, there is a reason I keep rereading certain series. LOL I am currently enjoying Jennifer Estep’s newest release in her Gargoyle Queen trilogy, which is a spin-off of her Crown of Shards series. They are fun fantasies with romantic elements, magic, derring-do, treachery, and the like. She builds a complex world that you can “feel.” There are others, but I won’t delve into them here.

    I also can’t remember the last book (or movie) that left such a lasting impression as the unnamed movie did for you and Wiz. I should probably be sad about that. Ah well.

    And Boone is getting insistent about wantng out or something so gotta dash. Interesting topic today. Wish I had more to contribute!

  2. Viki S.
    March 22nd, 2023 at 2:40 pm · Link

    I have never seen or read the book but I do find myself having issues with things that just cannot be. I know there is artistic license and all but sometimes they go too far.

    I love how Wizard picked up on the lack of reality that a girl can raise herself out in the swamp. It really makes me wonder how some people just love stuff that can’t hold true. Oh well.

    That’s really cool that you are able to learn and understand things you can do with your family member from a movie you’ve watched. It’s a blessing when you can find things to help cope.

    Seeing that you are swamped again with rain and wind. Sure hope you had some breaks so you and Maggie could get a walk in.

    Have a great afternoon!

  3. Jenn
    March 22nd, 2023 at 4:14 pm · Link

    Silver, most of us have had that frustration with the lists. I’ve had it as an author and these days, have it as a reader looking for new books. But it’s also the nature of the lists that once a book hits, it has so much exposure (and creates FOMO) that it gets read more. It’s just a fact of the beast (never mind the curating that goes into them).

    There are a few NYT titles I couldn’t get through either. Fiction can be such a difference experience for each reader.

    Estep does have excellent world building! I’ve never been quite as drawn in as most of her readers, but I can see her great worldbuilding for sure! And often going back to the familiar is just plain comforting. I suspect that’s why I’m enjoying Outlander now (it’s a very long books, LOL).

    Don’t be sad! That may not be what fiction does for you, and that’s good too. For us, it was amazing timing and helped. I’m being vague, I know, and I hate that, sorry :-)

    Hope you’re having a good day!

  4. Jenn
    March 22nd, 2023 at 4:26 pm · Link

    Viki, at least it’s not just me! I have no trouble if the book is paranormal or something along those lines. But in this world they created, I just didn’t buy it.

    I was happy Wizard picked that up. Last night we watched another docuseries and we disagreed about the motives of the woman involved. So we don’t always agree, LOL!

    It truly is a blessing and thank you. This situation is hard, but so if life sometimes. Fiction is great to either give us a break, a laugh or sometimes, a bit of insight we didn’t even know we needed.

    It poured for sure. I’m stunned how much rain we’re all getting. It’s causing some issues too. Maggie and I got a really long walk in late morning when the rain cleared for a while. It was great for both of us!

    Hope you are having nicer weather and a good day!

  5. B.E. Sanderson
    March 23rd, 2023 at 7:35 am · Link

    I’m glad Wizard could pinpoint what was bugging you. That’s what great couples do for each other. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie. :shrug:

    After my accident and the brain damage that came with it, I had a real problem with movies that touched on the subject. Most of them get it SO wrong. Anyway, two movies came out around that time – Regarding Henry and 50 First Dates. I refused to watch either one until years later. Regarding Henry was touching, but got it wrong. I thought I’d hate 50 First Dates, but it gets more things right than not. When she runs down the dock screaming and then sits and cries… that really struck a note for me and I cry along with her every time.

  6. Jenn
    March 23rd, 2023 at 8:49 pm · Link

    B.E, I didn’t realized you’d suffered any neurological damage. That is so hard, and I’m really sorry that you had to go through that on top of trying to physically recover. I’m glad that you found two movies that got it more right than wrong. I remember 50 First Dates pretty well, but not Regarding Henry. I’ll look that one up.

    I had an adult cousin who suffered from mental illness and I can remember my aunt (his mother and a social worker) being very frustrated and somewhat triggered by movies that got it wrong or in some ways glamorized it in the typical Hollywood way. I though of her when I read your comment.

    For the record, I think you’re strong and amazing to have gone through that and rebuilt your life.

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