Book Review: Adrienn Vasquez looks at AND SO WE DIE, HAVING FIRST SLEPT

Jan 28, 2019

This book is for those who are not afraid. Not afraid of reading about eczema on the elbows and a husband who prefers the straight-forwardness of sleeping on the bathroom floor to the intimacy of sleeping next to his wife’s warm, alive body. Those who ask a million questions about random things and keep chasing a thought for a mile. Those who watch European movies where the actresses’ teeth are sometimes yellow and when they wake up in the morning, their hair is messy in an embarrassing, not cute, way. Read this book if you are not sure how to pronounce foie gras, would never want to spend the money on it, or wouldn’t know how to spell it if someone woke you in the middle of the night. Read it if you ever held someone’s beating heart in your hands, waiting for their bodies or minds to get better, keeping it safe for when they were ready. The story of Brett is for those who at times have thought that their spouse was crazy, and their marriage wouldn’t make it, not even till the end of the day. But also for those who kept hanging on, by the skin of their teeth (and who notice how weird this expression is), just one more day, going through hell, because they believed that the days of gentleness, and warm touches, and kind whispers would come again.

Read it if you know how good normal feels after the hard, if you know that happiness and goodness are difficult to trust, if you’ve walked more heavy seasons than light ones.

 You might find yourself in the story if you are okay with the gray. Graying hair, gray clouds, all the gray between the black and the white. If you can allow for doubt, and questions, and failure, and tension, and still call yourself a God-seeker, a believer. If you find more honesty in asking questions than having all the answers. How long can we live without resolutions? Where is the path between shame and pretend holiness?

 Read it if you are moved by acute descriptions of everyday things, sharp and detailed observations of the most ordinary acts. These pages offer sacred space to matters and thoughts that make up most of our lives, but their beauty goes unnoticed and unhailed. Not the heroic, the glamorous, the loud, not those worthy of the prettiest words and colors, but the common, quiet, ordinary, and unfiltered. A mother trying to open the plastic-covered beef jerky stick with no success. The back-and-forth of familiar spousal bickering that everyone is tired of yet no one wants to give up. Wondering why someone wouldn’t smile for the camera when you ask them to. The awkward and out-of-place feelings we all know but none of us wants to admit to. Dirty nails and paperwork. Acting married until you feel married. Fleeting impressions and notions that will be quickly gone if you don’t give them a second thought.

 And if none of this compels you, just hold the book in your hands, touch its cover, and bask in the beauty of that striking painting. 

Here’s the link:

FINAL COVER - And So We Die Having First Slept.jpg