I enjoyed this book a lot. It’s not about some famous or highly successful person. It’s not about some unusual mystery or great tragedy. Historic struggles are just the background here. The main book’s issue—living without a father or single motherhood isn’t of a big interest of me too. I was raised in the full family, like the most of my friends and cousins and when I was a kid the lack of a father in a family was always the matter of puzzle to me, not a matter of concern.
And still I found The Lie That Settles: A Memoir captivating and interesting. It’s a vivid example that each life is interesting and important.
This is the book mostly about two people- the author and his mother. Both are quite interesting individuals, but they are far from the grand figures of 20th century who shook countries and cultures. They were average common folks.
But I was not bored by their story even for a minute. The author has a real narrative talent. Believe me, I read about a hundred biographies (if not more) and thousand books in my life. His style has this “something” which draws you into the book.
This book is also an interesting portrait of post war England and New Zealand. I’m from behind the Iron Curtain, so admittedly I had not much idea how the life in Western countries looked like for common folks.
Enough about the story and characters. This is a journal. It’s about one’s life. About a human being.
And I liked the man who revealed his past for me. I don’t share cultural heritage or religious beliefs with him; so what? My theory is that every person is likeable if is authentic. Transparency and honesty win the hearts of people. They definitely won my heart. And Mr. Farrel did his journaling duty very well. He presented not just the story, but himself too. I enjoyed his tart humor when he was describing his not-so-admirable adolescent years. He definitely showed some distance to himself 😉
This book tells just the story of a couple of people; there are billions of such stories unraveling themselves this very moment. I’m convinced that if we would have closely examine each of them, we would have discovered some life wisdom in each.
What I learned/ observed thanks to the lecture of this book:
- Success at school is not a guarantee of success in life. The author got more than his share of troubles with education; nonetheless he was able to turn his life around later.
- Blood ties are more than we think they are. The Bible pays special attention to the bloodline and relatives. The chemistry between Peter and his siblings after decades of not knowing each other was just amazing. Blood ties are important.
- The big lesson I got from the death of the author’s mother. He wasn’t prepared at all. Her last words summed it up all too well. We should, I should, live fuller and showing more emotions to everyone in my life. Once they’re gone I cannot give them more attention, support or love.