Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Choice

I have a confession to make: I like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance. I like several of the other whiny-boy garage and emo bands on the radio today. I know I'm supposed to be listening to classic rock (sometimes I do) or adult pop (Heaven forbid), but I can't bring myself to do it. I grew up listening to the heavy metal hair bands of the eighties, so it's easy for me to groove with the new bad boys of the radio. Listening to Bowling for Soup's 1985 is a bit of a painful experience for me. It hits a little too close to home. ('85 is a little soon for me, but let's say '88?) I liked Madonna before she went all Kabbalah/earth mother/political activist. U2's The Joshua Tree was one of the best albums ever, and I really did think that I was going to marry a member of Duran Duran. Roger Taylor the drummer to be exact; I let him off the hook when he married a princess. And yes, both of my teenagers think that I am completely uncool. Despite my lack of coolness, I can't bring myself to listen to Celine Dion or Josh Groban. Please! So if you see a matronly woman in a green Astro-van with the windows down rocking out to Teenagers by My Chemical Romance (which could almost be my theme song) while her teenagers slink as far down in their seats as seatbelts allow, know that it's me.

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks is the story of Travis and Gabby and their history of their love. The book begins as Travis brings flowers to the hospital where Gabby works. They've been apart for months, and it's tearing him apart. Exhausted by the ordeal about to come, he reflects on how they met and fell in love. The story moves along quickly as they move from antagonistic neighbors to the first kiss and making a life together. All too soon, Travis is shaken from his reverie and brings the flowers to his comatose wife and faces a decision about a promise Gabby made him make her years ago. This was a sweet romance camouflaging a deeper story about faith, promises, and death. Sparks brings up excellent points that force the reader to consider what they would do in a similar circumstance. The decision Travis has to make nearly tears him apart, and the power of this book lies in him and his faith. This was a great romantic read, guaranteed to bring a few tears.

On Oct. 4th, I've been given the opportunity to participate in a conference call interviewing Nicholas Sparks about this book. I am so excited about it; I can't wait! I'll post the results here when it's through.

The picture today is of Jesse's great-grandparents. We've been working on the family tree and found that the original spelling of the Lockstein name is Lochstaedt. This is August & Amelia (Mia's namesake) Lockstein with their children Rudulph, Christ, and Emma, along with August's mother Wilhelmina Lockstein. I need to do some research to find out the symbolism of the wheat in their hands.