1) I just finished reading Paula Hawkins suspenseful novel, The Girl on the Train. It’s a twisted engaging story set in the suburbs of London. The story jumps between the points of view of three different women coping with different challenges (mostly, their own unhappiness). And of course, murder. Hawkins crafts suspense well. Her book makes the argument that romantic relationships become dysfunctional when dysfunctional people get involved and don’t take responsibility for their personal happiness—don’t grow together. I felt a bit down after I finished reading the book. Mainly because it rang so true—how broken we can sometimes feel in the modern world. How alienated. And how the pain we’ve experienced in our lives can make us victimize ourselves and victimize others. The book doesn’t offer any solutions to this predicament. It just seems to suggest that this is how things are—that being alive can be a lonely and bitter experience. As a struggling optimist, I wish the book had included some sense of hope or beauty. Even the ugliness lacked luminosity. Still I loved the book’s writing, it’s urgency. Although no solution was offered, I finished the book thinking…I want to promote healing in the world...I do not want to end up like these people.
2) Fun Fact: Did you know that when coffee was first introduced in Western Europe, the Pope at the time labeled the beverage, “Satan’s drink”?