Both books are good for restoring one's faith in humanity. The Book Thief deals with decent Germans helping a Jewish man during the Holocaust. I am the Messenger deals with an ordinary person sent out on mysterious quests to help various strangers.
They're simple, but beautiful things. Like buying an ice-cream for a young mother who deprives herself so she can afford to buy treats for her three children.
Zusak's books show both the beauty and horror of life.
I just finished reading a sad scene in which the protagonist, Ed Kennedy confronts his cold and rather bitchy mother. They argue and exchange painful truths.
There's a line I like, and I can relate to it. ...the night is so deep and dark that I wonder if the sun will ever come up.
I've had nights like that. They usually follow some type of interpersonal drama. I end up feeling worthless. I feel mentally unstable. I feel no one really likes me. I feel like a failure. I fear my relationship with someone will be forever severed, or at least never the same again.
Sometimes it's not me who has committed the infraction. Sometimes someone else has acted badly. I feel this horrible anger at them, but at the same time I feel so sad for them. I want to slap them. I want to take them into my arms and comfort them.
It's such a nightmare.
Fortunately the sun does come out in the morning. Things usually work out okay, often the very NEXT day. Sometimes the healing takes awhile.
I've had very depressing fights with my family. There have been times I feared we'd never forgive each other. I feared we'd be forced into this fake politeness. Things would never be the same between us.
I'm happy to say we healed. We even sometimes joke about some of the dramatic scenes.
The fight scene between mother and son might have struck a cord with me, because I dreamed about fighting with my mom last night.
This is what happened.
We're trying to have a Disney vacation. My dad has had a party in his honor, and now someone is throwing him a second party a few days later. I'm talking to my parents about it, and suddenly realize going to the party will make us miss one of our nights at Disney (somehow we're in our normal-life and at the same time, also our holiday life. Not sure how that works). I start to complain to my parents. My mom gets angry and starts talking about how they do so much for us. They're there for us. They spend time with us. We should be grateful because most parents aren't like that. I say they should be grateful that we spend time with them as well. I say lots of grown-up kids leave their parents, and give them little attention.
My mom starts saying awful things about not loving me. It's all really shitty. I run away. I fly, but I have little control. I feel I won't get away far enough, or fast enough. I don't want to be found. I want to ESCAPE.
I end up at a grocery store at some point. I think I see a British family, and follow them to find British food.
I later end up with some church thing (I think inspired by the Zusak book, because there was a church thing). It's a nice religious thing (I mean because usually religion doesn't impress me much). At some point, my mom finds me. She seems apologetic, but not just that. I sense that she does love me. She has a book called The Sympathetic Understanding of the Toddler (a mash-up of book titles I recently gave my sister).
I have this feeling my mom might try to tell me she didn't mean any of the stuff she had said in the fight. I am thinking that if she says this, I'll say no, she DID mean it. But that's okay. We can work from there.
I liked the dream. I've had lots of dreams about trying to escape my family. This is probably the only one I can remember (off hand) that ended with reconciliation.
I think the point is we fight and we say hurtful things. Sometimes, we don't mean them. Sometimes we do mean them. Sometimes we sort of mean them. But even if we say something awful, and we really DID mean it....there's still hope that feelings can change.
Modern Family had a good episode about that.