I think long ago, Perry’s heart made unwelcome room for sadness, and then believing that it could handle no more, slammed itself shut, preventing joy’s free roam. What’s the point of joy, if only followed by sorrow? Perry knows how to have fun; I’ve seen him with his friends. But I wonder how deep he lets joy flow, if he surrenders to the undertow.
I was struck by the soul-bearing honesty of this passage:
"Now is it not hard that a person may have a soul as beautiful as an angel's, a dwelling-place for all sweet sounds and harmonies, and if nature has not thought fit to endow his body with a chin the world will have none of him? The vulgar prejudice is in favour of chins, and who shall escape its influence? I, for one, cannot, though theoretically I utterly reject the belief that the body is the likeness of the soul; for has not each of us friends who, we know, love beyond everything that which is noble and good, and who by no means themselves look noble and good? And what about all the beautiful persons who love nothing on earth except themselves? Yet who in the world cares how perfect the nature may be, how humble, how sweet, how gracious, that dwells in a chinless body? Nobody has time to inquire into natures, and the chinless must be content to be treated in something of the same good-natured, tolerant fashion in which we treat our poor relations until such time as they shall have grown a beard; and those who by their sex are for ever shut out from this glorious possibility will have to take care, should they be of a bright intelligence, how they speak with the tongues of men and of angels, nothing being more droll than the effect of high words and poetic ideas issuing from a face that does not match them."
I admire and respect those who can look themselves in the mirror and admit I abhor this behaviour, and yet am guilty of it. I believe it's only when you can do this, that you can change who you are, or at the least, your preconceived beliefs.
She goes on in the same brutally honest vein:
"I wish we were not so easily affected by each other's looks. Sometimes, during the course of a long correspondence with a friend, he grows to be inexpressibly dear to me; I see how beautiful his soul is, how fine his intellect, how generous his heart, and how he already possesses in great perfection those qualities of kindness, and patience, and simplicity, after which I have been so long and so vainly striving. It is not I clothing him with the attributes I love and wandering away insensibly into that sweet land of illusions to which our footsteps turn whenever they are left to themselves, it is his very self unconsciously writing itself into his letters, the very man as he is without his body. Then I meet him again, and all illusions go. He is what I had always found him when we were together, good and amiable; but some trick of manner, some feature or attitude that I do not quite like, makes me forget, and be totally unable to remember, what I know from his letters to be true of him. He, no doubt, feels the same thing about me, and so between us there is a thick veil of something fixed, which, dodge as we may, we never can get round.
There are moments like this, sprinkled throughout her talk of peace, nature, and gardens that reveal a depth of intelligence and philosophy in von Arnim's writing, giving an added dimension to a book that, on the surface, would seem to be a frivolous diary of a woman and her flowers.
Series: Mila 2.0 #1
Girl discovers she's really an android, that could be cool, right? However, I got tired of Mila's obsession over not being real and the downright silliness of some of the plot points. For example, Hunter is apparently in some of Mila's classes, but she's supposed to be 16 and he's 18 all of a sudden? Also, there was a lot of YA love interest crushing and female rivalry.
Really it was just so YA. And it ended incredibly abruptly. My library doesn't have the audio version of the second book, though, only the ebook, so I'm not sure if I'll ever find out what happens to Mila. Maybe I can skim it really quickly? [Eyes Mount TBR....sigh.]