The Opposite of Love – A Review
“The Opposite of Love” by Julie Buxbaum
Rating: 4.5 out of 5!
To Emily Haxby, the opposite of love is self-disembowelment. If love was to give your every thing and leave a bit for yourself, self-disembowelment is to leave nothing to take or to give. As the dictionary puts it, “To deprive of meaning or substance.” But it is with emptiness that you create and grow something, from nothing to something. To scatter the jigsaw puzzle and finding the pieces again, and this time, the right ones.
The death of a mother and being unable to let go was hard but the present was even harder. To have a father and nothing more but his presence, to realize that anytime from now, your only grandparent and the only person you consider family is slowly deteriorating, mistaking you for somebody else and helpless of the fact that Alzheimer’s is slowly eating his memory, and worst leaving the man you love and chose to be with and to die with because you fear that someday, he too will leave you for the reason that he can’t love a broken person. All these Emily have experience and all these made her stronger, whole, better and happy.
Eating her pride, she fights to bring back what she had. She speaks up and communicate to her father, she confronts Andrew that she still loves him, that nothing has changed only that she is now ready for whatever step they’re going to take next and she’s a new brave Emily. She is now ready, or prepared as she puts it, to let go for whatever that will naturally leave and embrace what is coming.
The Opposite of Love was a moving, simple and complicated, but realistic and true to life novel. It has no point, no goal, no mission to accomplish but it’s a novel of about a process in life where in we all undergo some way or another. Reading this book was hard and complicated to me. I keep on complaining to my sister who read it first why Emily is so weird, so complicated when if I was at her place, I would have made the decisions faster, easier. How could you love but not like your own father? How could you leave that person whom you value if you love him enough to offer him a kidney? And then I understood. But I won’t spill it. Because I can’t put it into words anyway. It’s on the tip of my tongue, it’s inside me and it’s ringing clear in my heart and mind but I don’t have the power to explain. All I know is that you could actually restart your life but in a different and harder way. You have to clear a dead garden of weeds before you can start growing flowers.
Julie Buxbaum just wrote the perfect novel, the perfect picture for the words “The art of letting go.” It is an art that I am in love with.
Rating: 4 out of 5!