Saturday, September 9, 2017

Existential crisis of midlife when life falls apart.

The UUAW)L fiction book of the month is Dave Eggers' book Heroes Of The Frontier, a story about a 40 year old woman who takes her two children, Paul 8, and Ana 5 and flees to Alaska to avoid her ex-husband, Carl, and find herself after losing her dental practice in a law suit.

Heroes Of The Frontier is low on plot and high on character and scene development. It's over all theme concerns a woman having an existential mid-life crisis going on a quest to the last of the American frontier.

"Now, at forty, Josie was tired. She was tired of her journey through a day, the limitless moods contained in any stretch of hours. There was the horror of morning, underslept, feeling she was on the precipice of something that felt like mono, the day already galloping away from her, her chasing on foot, carrying her boots. Then the brief upward respite after a second cup of coffee, when all seemed possible, when she wanted to call her father, her mother, reconcile, visit them with the kids, when, while driving the kids to school—jail the people who abandoned the manifest right to school buses—she instigated an all-car sing-along to the Muppets soundtrack, “Life’s a Happy Song.” Then, after the kids were gone, an eleven-minute mood freefall, then more coffee, and more euphoria until the moment, arriving at her practice, when the coffee had worn off and she grew, for an hour or so, more or less numb, doing her work in a state of underwater detachment."

Eggers, Dave. Heroes of the Frontier (pp. 24-25). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Josie is acting out the dream of running away that many people have when are feeling suffocated by a life they are trapped in. Have you ever felt that way? Has your UU faith helped in any way with these existential quandaries?

1 comment:

  1. The encouragement to engage in a free and responsible search for truth and meaning is one of the seven principles and in her own way, it seems that Josie is doing just that. She seems to be a confused but courageous woman. I appreciate your choosing this book for our reading. I probably wouldn't have read it other wise.