Tuesday, April 08, 2008
At A Loss For Words
At A Loss for Words - Diane Schoemperlen
You said, You don’t understand…
I said, Yes, I do. Finally, yes, I do.
Beware of the written word – on its own. Beware of a love affair via email, phone conversations and limited human contact. Without the ability to capture tone of voice and inflection or observe body language, the risk of misinterpretation, deception and heartache is great.
In a time of on-line dating services, old loves rekindled and new loves found via the Internet, Diane Schoemperlen’s novel At A Loss For Words serves as a precautionary tale to all who seek to find and nurture love by such means.
But it is much more than that. Touted as a “post-romantic novel,” it is a story that touches your heart as you watch the protagonist come to the painful awareness that she has been “in love with love” – and that the object of her affection has been undeserving of the love she has given.
“She” (neither the protagonist nor the male character are given names – thus they could be any one of us??) is a successful writer who reconnects with the man who broke her heart thirty years ago. He is the instigator of this new relationship - she is the one who falls hard and fast. And unlike thirty years ago, this new relationship is conducted primarily via cyberspace. How times change and what new dangers/risks have been introduced by such a technological change.
You may cringe at being made privy to her humiliation as she continues to reach out to a man who is withdrawing from the relationship (once he had her trust and love, disinterest took over – nice game) but her experience is recounted with delightful wit, marvelous sarcasm and eventually, great insight.
Ironically, while capable of whipping off email after email, she suffers from writer’s block as a result of her obsession. When she comes to the realization that, “love cannot be sustained on language alone,” and that he is not the man she thought he was (nor she truly the woman she attempted/pretended to be for him) she has the last word.
Struggling with writer’s block? Try writing about what you know. And this – the heartbreaking experience she has lived through - she knows and knows intimately.
And thus, the inspiration for the novel – which consists of her painfully achieved words of wisdom and her wit interspersed with the verbatim text of those emails. (Writers/lovers - beware!)
I highly recommend this enthralling, entertaining and utterly engaging book.