Review: Bound, by Antonya Nelson

Antonya Nelson's Bound is a frank look into the human condition, and into the ties that bind--some literally, some not. Her characters, while not wholly sympathetic, are realistic. Nelson has used her remarkable talents to make them multi-layered, three-dimensional, true to life. The broad message seems to be that we all suffer from some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder, and not every makes it out of that condition...for those who do, it can take years and still require a bit of additional shell-shock. But the deeper, more focused point Nelson seeks to make is that we need one another. The ties that bind may be painful. Obligations may sting. Requirements may hinder. But without those people and things to which we are bound, we can never get by. We can never be free.

On a related note - my mother forwarded this email to me this week. I don't forward e-mails, and I ignore most of those that come my way because I have enough junk to read. But this one relates to Nelson's book so I find it appropriate to share with you all (also, as my sister and I get older, my mother's emails get saucier. It's kinda cute.) :

Have you ever seen a baby porcupine?

Fable of the porcupine

It was the coldest winter ever. - Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions even though they gave off heat to each other.

After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.

Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. This way they learned to live with the little wounds that were caused by the close relationship with their companion, but the most important part of it, was the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

Moral of the story: The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but the best is when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities

The Moral of the story..........LEARN TO LOVE THE PRICKS IN YOUR LIFE
(thanks, mom.)


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