Okay, reading is what I do. It's my joy, pain, school, friend, church. I'm that kind of addict. But never, ever has a character become such a part of me that I've dreamed about him. Last night Patrick, Robert, and Thomas Melrose all entered my dreams. Patrick is a part of me. His brilliant mind, his pain, his laugh-out-loud wit, his audacious courage in facing who he is and who his parents are (or aren't) have apparently found a home both in my conscious and subconscious mind. God, I just love these books. While reviewers compare St. Aubyn to everyone from Austin to Waugh, I've never read anyone quite like him: funny, excruciatingly painful, philosophical, psychological, satirical, political, romantic, all in beautiful, elegant prose that makes me sigh. I never underline novels, but these books begged to be underlined.
No Patrick is no longer a kid, but since we begin to care about him when he's just 5 and we see him grow and regress, learn and unlearn, come within a whisper of dying and then heal, we care for him the way we do with those we've loved over a long time. And we root for them in a deep, real way. So when Patrick decides to leave the lonely bedsit and make that phone call, well I took a long, happy deep breath and wished them all the best.
By the way, the reviewers who complain about the boys clearly don't know any precocious children. I find them both believable and damn adorable, and I've known a few small people who could hold their own with both of them.
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