The Other Side Of You – Salley Vickers

The Book Group gave this book mixed reactions.  On one extreme *B* didn’t like it at all, although they acknowledged that it was a very good piece of writing, while on the other extreme I loved it despite the first part which I had struggled through initially.  It was one of those books which made me cry, made me think, made me question and made me go searching for the pictures mentioned in it on the internet.  We all agreed in the end that it was a book with many aspects and probably what aspects you took from it depended on the readers’ viewpoint at the time when it was read.  It is a book about discoveries, about secrets, about love and most of all about life.  As Gus one of the characters in the book says ‘There is no cure for life.’

Once more Salley Vickers sets part of her book in Italy, once more Caravaggio’s painting have an important role to play in the story as it unfolds.  On more than one occasion one of the characters reminded me of my paternal grandfather and his instance to me as a young child that a table was only there because I believed it to be there and that is wasn’t really solid as it was made up of millions of electrons all moving around and that if I stopped believing that it was a table then I would be able to pass my hand straight through it.  The premise of the book is that love is like that, it is only there when we acknowledge it is there, believing in love turns it from an idea into a reality.   Just as it was only at that point of belief that the disciples on the Road to Emmaus recognised Jesus before them, although they knew long before the breaking of the bread that their hearts burnt within them with the knowledge of who he was, it was in the breaking that the belief was found and Jesus was seen for who he was.

The book in my view is powerful and moving and one I will most certainly return to again.

Supper At Emmaus

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