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Clearly Now, The Rain: A Memoir Of Love And Other Trips (2013)

by Eli Hastings(Favorite Author)
3.82 of 5 Votes: 3
ISBN
1770410775 (ISBN13: 9781770410770)
languge
English
publisher
ECW Press
review 1: Author, Eli Hastings, merges from teenagedom, into a world all too similar - a college life with the same insular relational drama clouded by drugs and booze, but then he meets Serala, a girl with a new intensity, a darker force he cannot resist, a girl who's presence forces him to redefine relationships and, of course, love. It's a staggering reality for me, a girl who's parallel life (also a high school c/o '96 grad) took place in bright and perky south Florida, immersed in Baptist youth group culture (a culture not forced on me by religious parents, but self-chosen no less) that transitioned into a similar perky life at a large university where often the worst reality of the day was when I'd scored bad seats to the football game.So, just the existence of a Serala, is s... moretaggering. Because she's not a stereotype (like the junkie mother mentioned in passing, later in the book, who inevitably isn't a stereotype either but who is there to tell her story?) and she's not a girl one simply puts on a prayer list. (Ha! Just the thought.) And she's not a girl one envies for her beauty or her professional confidence and income. She's a soul tormented by the world's violence, a violence she managed to bring close, often inside. She's a soul tormented by an exasperating inability to sleep. The description of how she spent her wakeful evenings one of the most sorrowful of the book. To suffer and never rest? Hell on earth. The descriptions of what she would take, enough to knock out an elephant, that would still have no effect on her increasingly thinning frame, incredible. A super-human strength most unwelcome.Eli is not just our witness. He brings everything in his life and tangles it up with Serala. His own unhealthy love relationships, his complicated love for his broken but surviving father, his allegiance to but fears for his younger brother, his team of friends. And we journey with him through undergraduate life, studying abroad, involvement in the political ongoings of the day, then off to graduate school (where I was co-existing a continuation of my perky life, already married, glibly going about life on my own stretch of suburbia), a stint in Montana, and finally back home to Seattle. Journeys within journeys occur in the context of Serala (moving closer, journeying with, leaving behind) and weave through his lived-hard years.Is her death a tragedy? An inevitability? A necessary freedom for Eli? Herself? Both?Brutal and beautiful and... life rendered raw. Thank you, Eli.
review 2: Eli Hastings allows the reader to ride shotgun as he careens through life after high school. His journey takes place alongside Serala, an enigmatic, tortured spirit who vacillates between intuitive compassion, wild spontaneity, and wretched despair. Hastings reveals the beauty in her vulnerable and unbridled soul, as their friendship demonstrates the depth and danger of loyalty. The book becomes an addiction, luring readers to keep on until the pages and emotions are exhausted. less
Reviews (see all)
Lynn
Well, that was depressing. I wanted more exploration into why the main subject was so broken.
Tara
Too dark for me. Not enough insight or interest to be worth the reading
RpidFire
Drugs drugs and more drugs. Too much.
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