"Where there's life, there's hope," the shelter director was always saying. But hope was a hoax, just a way of trapping people into staying alive. Hope was a mirage, a trick. Hope meant nothing, and still life ground on, still Cerise combed the streets for nooks and hidey-holes, still she went to the soup kitchen at noon to eat cheap food and scan the crowd for Barbara. ... It was a relief to be unknown and unencumbered again ... It was a relief to leave the little worries and the heartrending sorrows of other people behind. (p. 280)The first tells me Cerise had given up hope, though she kept doing the things needed to stay alive, like finding a place to curl up and sleep and lining up for food so she could eat. The second quote sums up Cerise's life ... it was an awful ache. I made friends with a woman who lived in her car after an auto accident nearly killed her and caused her to lose her job. Nobody should have to live like that, but she survived and had a house and a job when I met her. Last fall I was seriously wondering if I'd end up homeless, as I continue to pay off bills and expenses we had after closing our bookstore while living on Social Security and a very small pension. While Cerise had no skills to save herself, I simply had no desire to go live with one of my children. Was that unrealistic? Probably, but that's one choice. Maybe I'm just too stubborn. As we sum up our thoughts about this book, let's talk about the skills Cerise lacked that might have helped her cope when her life fell apart. Maybe this could be one of our final questions for the book:
Cerise let herself be lulled a little by the frogs, let time pass until finally she felt almost used to the awful ache that was her life. (p. 281)
1. What would YOU do if your house burned down, leaving you homeless and with no material resources at your command?
2. Was there anything Cerise could have done to make a better life for herself?
3. How was it a good thing that Anna and Cerise met each other at this time in their lives?
The weekend is upon us, so mosey on over to our cyber party at Essencia Island.