I don’t know why I’ve never read Aimees Bender’s first book, but when I did, I loved it.
The narrator is a young woman who is struggling with a mysterious illness.
She is obsessed with a certain shade of purple, and she has a way of getting through the day that is unique and unexpected.
(I’d never heard of the term “quirkiness” before reading Bender’s book.)
And the narrator is smart and funny, the perfect antidote to all the typical teenage angst and existential uncertainty of our time.
Her story is a reminder that, despite our collective fears, there are moments of joy, of optimism, of freedom, in every life.
That is the kind of optimism that Aimeel Bender wants her readers to have, and it makes for a wonderfully uplifting read.
But what I love most about the book is how Bender writes it.
I love how she takes her protagonist through life’s journey and then turns the narrative to her own experience.
Bender has a knack for turning a story about an ill person into a story of hope and a glimpse into her own personal life.
I also loved the way she brought her narrator’s illness into the book, and how the story ends in the way that it ends.
That’s a gift.
When you read a book, you’re reading a story, not just a plot.
When we read a story we’re telling ourselves something important.
Aimey Bender has captured the essence of that essence with her stories, and I want to be a part of her legacy.
The Book of the Month Aimeez Bender is published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, priced $15.95.
For more, read The Book Club’s interview with Bender.