professornana (professornana) wrote,

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So, is useful pain an oxymoron?

WELL, chalk up another few days of driving across Texas for me. Packed up the kids, the new Harry Potter in audio, and the hubby on Sunday and drove to San Angelo, Texas. Conducted an all day workshop for 100 or so English teachers and librarians on Monday and then climbed back in the car Tuesday and tooled home. Since I am listening to the HP book, I took along a book to read in the evening, one sent me by the voluptuous Linda Benson of VOYA.

James should be a happy camper and yet he is pretty miserable, literally and figuratively speaking. He does not want to work for his mother at her art gallery because there is no real work for him (or his mother for that fact) to do. College seems useless to him as well. Why would he ever want to be with people his own age? And home life is not much better. Surely there must be some point to all of this crap?

Like Holden before him, James tends to focus on the unimportant in order to cope with what life keeps throwing at him. More than another variant on the CATCHER theme, though, SOMEDAY THIS PAIN WILL BE USEFUL TO YOU examines life in the throes of almost a PTSD. James attended Stuyvesant High during the 9-11 horror. Some of what he witnessed that day is responsible for his lack of focus on what is essential in life. He is also coming to grips with losses within his own family and with his family's well-intentioned questions about his sexuality. There are a few layers to this novel that dedicated readers will delight in peeling away as they discover who James really is.

Back to listening to HP 7. I am going as slowly as I can to really savor this last book. However, the 14 year old is already in her second rereading and the 16 year old also grew too impatient for audio.
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