Sunday, August 16, 2015

Review: Aquarium by David Vann

AquariumAquarium by David Vann
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such a fantastic novel - beautifully written, raw and beautiful, and so endlessly readable! This is one of those books that I highlighted a ton of the prose because it was so beautiful. I didn't come to this novel with a lot of information, I knew that several of my bookish friends liked it and had heard about how beautiful the book was with the beautiful photos of the fish. Although I read the e-book, I still enjoyed the photos although I suspect they are even more impactful when reading from the physical novel.

I didn't know much about this novel before reading and I recommend that you don't read much about it before reading it. I think the journey is part of what's so amazing about this book.

This is a story about family, forgiveness, love and redemption. It's about finding out that your parents are human, with their own demons. It's really fantastic! Such a beautiful book. It's not an easy book - it's dark and there is violence and pain. Yet, the beauty of the book makes up for the darkness. There is so much here that I loved.

Here are just a few of the amazing passages in this novel -

“The worst part of childhood is not knowing that bad things pass, that time passes. A terrible moment in childhood hovers with s kind of eternity, unbearable.”
“Maybe this is as near as we can come to forgiveness. Not the past wiped away, nothing undone, but some willingness in the present, some recognition and embrace and slowing down.”
“Each one a little bit different but following some blueprint somewhere. As if each of us might have a blueprint. As if somewhere there's the shape of my life, and I had the chance to choose a few variations, but not far from the pattern.”
“Anything is possible with a parent. Parents are gods. They make us and they destroy us. They warp the world and remake it in their own shape, and that's the world we know forever after. It's the only world. We can't see what it might have looked like otherwise.”

I highly recommend this novel but know that there is darkness in this one. I think the violence was handled well within the context of the story and doesn't feel as difficult as it might have without David Vann's deft hand. It's beautiful and I won't forget this one for some time!

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