Sunday, December 28, 2008
Night of the Radishes
Night of the Radishes by Sandra Benítez is an interesting novel that deals with intense grief and the human ability to live through that grief. Every character is haunted by something and every single one of them deals with it in a different way. In that sense, the novel was a fascinating exploration of our capacity for sadness - we all have our limits and eventually we will reach them. How we deal with that fact is what is really important. The book follows the main character Annie on her quest to find her estranged brother after the death of their mother. While I found the book to be an interesting read, I was somewhat disappointed with out neat and clean the ending was. There weren't consequences for Annie's actions. In the end, she is completely absolved of her guilt. Unfortunately, in the real world, this isn't how it is. Sometimes we are given a reprieve, as Annie was, but everything can't always be forgiven or forgotten. It was too easy in the last five pages for her life to return to normal. The book would have been much more interesting if she had to confront the consequences of her decisions with her loved ones head on.
All that being said, the bilingual/bicultural nature of the novel was fascinating. I love books that incorporate that style of storytelling.