Sunday, March 14, 2010
On Beauty and QT with my sister
I finished Zadie Smith's On Beauty last week. I read her critically-acclaimed debut novel, White Teeth, quite a few years ago and remember enjoying it but not really getting what all the hype was about. I get it now.
She has this knack for observation and description that amazes me. There's this one scene in the novel in which the 3 Belsey children bump into each other in Boston and she describes the comfort that comes from familiarity that I totally related to:
They caught up with each other's news casually, leaving long, cosy gaps of silence in which to go to work on their muffins and coffees. Jerome - after two months of having to be witty and brilliant in a strange town among strangers - appreciated the gift of it. People talk about the happy quiet that can exist between two lovers, but this too was great; sitting between his sister and his brother, saying nothing, eating.
I experience this same ease when I'm with my brother and sister. There's no need to fill in the silence. We can sit quietly over a meal and say nothing and it's completely OK. I spent a great week with my sister in Vancouver. We shopped and ate and played with Piglet. And we found her wedding dress at the BCBG outlet so big win there!
(This is totally lame but only just noticed that there's a profile of a woman's head on the cover. It wasn't obvious to me while I read the book but it's completely apparent now in the image.)