This is not a book review; just a few recollections of my experience having read the book ten years ago and now that I have decided to read it again. I am doing this for the sake of nostalgia, and true enough, reading The House of the Spirits helped me relive a few lost memories of my teenage days–those hidden behind the shadows of my consciousness, but not really forgotten.
“Barrabas came to us by sea,” the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy. This was how the book started, the way the story also came to an end. Through the years, I have kept those precious lines in mind, not by choice but because it was able to etch a beautiful scar on my heart. I also knew for a fact that I would be opening the book again in the following years, and I would be needing something to remember it with.
I was just a high school freshman that time. Because of a scholarship grant, I was able to study in a school where the rich families in town sent their children to. But having grown up in a rural area, it had been difficult for me to adjust to the environment. Thus, I had only a few friends.
The learning disorder I had had since childhood only added to my misery and low self-esteem, though I was already able to read those days, an accomplishment I credit to my Mom. Reading has been my hobby since then. Our school had a huge, three-storey library, complete from High School Algebra to How to be a Sensuous Person. It served as my refuge the first day I set my foot in the school.
One day, I got so bored, so I decided to check the Novels section, a part of the library I had always avoided before. That was the day I saw Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It had a fancy cover design so I picked it off the shelf. It was the first novel that intensified my love for books. I didn’t know then that reading could be fun and insightful at the same time. From that day on I had always visited the library just to finish the book. After a few days, I had to find something else to read because the library didn’t have the subsequent books.
to be continued…