So, I just broke a copyright. I stole the title of the book for my post, but only because it is such a well-rounded title—just like the book. *wink*
Backstory: About a young woman named Hope Arden, she finds herself unable to be remembered. Once someone sees her face, within about one minute after they look away, she finds herself forgotten. First it happens to her teachers, then her friends, then her family. And without a place to call home, she falls back to what she does best:
Hope turns into a thief, an easy career when no one can remember her face, and although there are computers and cameras, the people who run them can’t bear to remember to add her to the system and forget between one moment and the next.
And while the book sounds interesting at just this bare minimum, there is Claire North’s name on the cover, well-known author of Touch and The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, which if you haven’t read those yet, then you really should.
AND beyond that, there’s Perfection.
But, I don’t want to spoil the book beyond that, even though I will be eternally bound to spoil it while reflecting on some of my most favorite parts, but still. If you haven’t read this book, you should. I think this will trump my best read of this year already.
The feelings, the things I learned, the ideas I have had today, so many ideas, so many feelings, they will die with my memory. I fear that loss. But more, a terror that I must share with my future self. I fear what this means for me. If you forget the joy of this day, then what joy you give to others will also be forgotten, and your life has no consequence, no meaning, no worth. (74)
There are plenty of these thoughts riddled throughout the book, deep, reflective, and yet applicable to any person reading it. How many times can we relate to this thought? How often do we wonder what mark we can leave behind on this world? I wonder if the only meaning our life holds is how others remember us when we’re gone. What impression do we want to leave behind? Even if only a few relate to this, I love this BIG thought near the beginning of the book. It creates such a real character. #ShowerThought
A woman with Perfection, snubbing the food her partner offered her at the cafe where I ordered breakfast.
A man with Perfection, updating the app on his phone, a sports bag slung over his back, arms bulked up with protein shakes, chest heaving, sweat on the back of his neck.
A teenager with Perfection, looking at the prices for the perfect haircut.
Open your eyes: it is everywhere. (228)
This is the perfect metaphor. I can’t stress it enough, through repetition of the word, the reader creates this picture of what perfect looks like, and yet, the last sentence is what drives it home. “It is everywhere.”
Have you thought of what perfection is? What do you think perfection is? Did you notice who I asked? You. Perfection has no definition. It is only an opinion, a preference, an idea, a trend. Perfection only exists in the eye of the beholder, a common quote, but one maybe people have forgotten to take into consideration. There is no perfection; there is only the idea of what you think it means, and right now society is trying to force-feed you their idea of perfection, through marketing, advertisements, anything to make you the best consumer. Because that’s how this economy sustains itself: Consumption.
This book is riddled with ideas like these, and while I’ve dog-earred many a page, I won’t bore you—or spoil the book—by throwing them all in this post. Just know that this books dives into the metapor of perfection and contemplates what it means in today’s society. It’s one of the reasons I love this book, not only deep and reflective, but then it throws this interesting character with an interesting talent. It leaves me wanting more.
Thank you Claire North.
North, Claire. The Sudden Appearance of Hope. New York, NY: Redhook Books, 2016. Print.