I know I'm incredibly late to the table here, but I've just finished the book and the bookcast this evening. I love the podcast and the bookcast, especially for giving me an ever growing list of things to fill my weekly train journeys with. Back to the book, the biggest thing I took away from it is that the entire book was merely a footnote in the life story of Veronica, just like all the history textbooks they read
as young adults.
I love that the majority of Tony's life is reduced to a few sentences because it frames his regret and remorse so perfectly, in that he left a lingering mark on Veronica's life
that echoed throughout the 40 years that he could just skip through but she would have torturingly endured. He just didn't get it. It really raises some pertinent questions
about whether or not the readers life has ever gone completely to plan and what fulfilling that "plan" has done to everyone around you. That butterfly effect of your mere
presence in someone else’s life will imperceptibly move and shape them, for better or worse, regardless of any lingering letters or words of wisdom. I love that Tony tries
to build almost an artificial history for himself at the end by becoming a regular at a pub and a shop nowhere near him, in the hopes of recapturing a thin sliver of his old
life. It's such a human thing, and even though as a reader i didn't like Tony any more, i felt sorry for the guilt and shame he must have been feeling. I even kept thinking
he might take his own life at the end, to rid himself of the guilt and shame; seppaku almost. I guess he couldn't pull off that grandiose a gesture to life.
Life is so fragile as well, a simple letter can be the pivot of a whole life, as fragile as the memories they become. How we can construct a life for ourselves on a foundation
of sand, forcing it out of sheer will and disbelief that we can be that cruel.
Plus i always feel like Tony in that the things i write always seem so much better in my head, but then when i commit them to paper they are never as good, how he shows
that with his correspondance with Jack really stood out to me, especially because of how many letters he wrote as a kid. It says a lot of people how much he lingers on the "failure" of a relationship with Veronica and yet brushes over the good relationship with Annie, he lingers on his failings
so much towards the end of his life, no matter how many triumphs he has in a Daughter and a peaceable existence he prefers to judge himself through his failure. It really
hit home for me in so many places, uncomfortably so in how much I'm waiting for my life to begin as they said, and in how our lives are but fleeting memories before they
are history. I hope I'm young enough to still change this, leave a better legacy than just remorse and regret.
I'm so glad you guys read this book otherwise I’m not sure I would have, but it's really deeply affected me and I wanted to say thanks.