Diary – I’ve read it on the plane, and every morning at breakfast while in Grenoble. It’s quite short, and a lot easier to…digest than Haunted. And I really loved it. Of course, the Palahniuk trademark is all over it, there are still fragments they simply make you want to squirm (and it’s not the best breakfast read if you don’t have a strong stomach), but it doesn’t feel like the whole purpose of the book is to creep you out and give you nightmares 😉
Diary is the diary of Misty Marie Wilmot (nee Kleinman) and her decline. Misty has been a white-trash-trailer-park raised girl, whose passion was drawing houses she’d never seen, houses in which she imagined she could find the happiness and comfort that her mother couldn’t provide. While in art school, she meets Peter Wilmot, a sort of strange guy who wears really old, tainted jewellery and who tells her that the imagined houses are real – and that they can be found in Waytansea Point, his home town. They get married and start a life in precisely one of the houses Misty used to draw. They have a daughter…..and then Peter, seemingly trying to kill himself, ends up in a coma. That’s where it all starts – the diary, Misty’s trials and the weird, twisted ways in which she seems to come to terms with what everyone else apparently knows is to be her destiny: to save the island. How? Through an old legend – a preset destiny – the reincarnation, every four generations, of a woman, an artist, who will drive away strangers and bring back wealth to the Waytansea Point locals. A woman who will be attracted to the strange jewelery, a woman who will dream of houses only found there. Every four generations, Waytansea men will search for her – and this time around it was Peter and Misty who were forced to give up independence, and re-act an old play. Peter – in the know and willingly at first, Misty – used and kept in the dark until the very end, controlled though the diaries that the women before her kept, forced to repeat a destiny that may not have been her own.
It’s not at all what I expected from Mr Palahniuk, or at least not until he writes: According to Plato, we live chained inside a dark cave. We’re chained so all we can see is the back of the cave. All we can see are the shadows that move there. They could be the shadows of someone moving outside the cave. They could be the shadows of people chained next to us.Maybe the only thing each of us can see, is our own shadow. The old story – but I like its illustration. Carl Jung called this his shadow work. He said we never see others. Instead we see only aspects of ourselves that fall over them. Shadows. Projections. Our associations.
Apparently, what Misty was seeing was nothing more than her own shadows.
Oh, and Happy Christmas, everyone! 🙂