Who knew that 25 chapters arranged within 186 pages could cause such an emotional and existential inner conflict?
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green grows on you in an unexpected way. Perhaps due to the empathy it stretches within. I reckon that plenty has been said about this book as well as the movie (which I haven't watched yet) so I shall make this elaborately brief enough to make you want to read or re-read the book.
It is tragic that the characters of this book are teenagers battling cancer and the adults in their lives who take care of them. Of course, there is Van Houten who is a stand-alone character given that his book An Imperial Affliction (non-existent btw, sorry!) gives The Fault in our stars its backbone.
The events in the book will leave you wondering if;
- The fault is in the stars or within us.
- There is indeed solace to be found in the heart of Jesus.
- You can have your best life when it is about to end as a teenager or in the context of your current age.
- Meeting your idol is a worthy quest.
- A lover is truly tied to you ‘in sickness and in health’
- Your role as a friend, child, spouse, or parent ends when the recipient of your presence dies.
- Self-written eulogies could encompass your life more beautifully than those written and read during your burial.
- Scientists will ever find a cure for cancer.
As seen with young Augustus, our impending demise should motivate us to seek and seize opportunities like joining our book club (yeah, am sneaky like that????).
If you haven't made peace with this inevitable end I urge you to awaken to the fragility and ephemeral nature of this life. For this mortal quest, I recommend that you read;
a) Ecclesiastes by the wisest man himself King Solomon.
b) The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker.
Written by Wanjiru Njeri
TOFA Book Club