I featured THE UNDERSIDE OF JOY as a "Waiting on Wednesday" pick last September. When the author contacted me to show her appreciation, I asked if she'd be interested in participating in this feature on my blog upon publication. She graciously agreed.
Quotables is an event in which I present authors with a meaningful (to me) passage from their books and ask them to speak to it in whatever way they wish.
This novel explores an unusual relationship between a mother and a stepmother, each laying claim to the children after the father unexpectedly dies in an accident. Right when I read this quote, I knew it was "the one."
"Invisible walls. The illusion of light and space and even air. The kind you can't see, that are as fragile as glass. They work great until an unseen force pushes you into one and the illusion shatters, so that every step you take cuts you, cuts those who walk alongside you."
This line comes at a point when Ella is realizing some things about herself and her relationship with Joe. I didn’t work hard on this particular passage, Ella just gave it to me. But soon I could see that it fit into the themes of the story. Without giving away the plot, I will say that this image is also very closely related to the idea of the underside of joy. When we don’t acknowledge the darker side of our lives—the sorrow, the hurt, the loneliness, the loss, take your pick—those feelings often start to rise up, or in this case, push back on the illusions we’ve created of light-filled, perfect happiness. And suddenly we’re walking on glass. And so are those we love. But the only way through it is through the pain.
The good news is that this is not a total downer! There’s no such thing as perfect happiness. That’s okay. Life has its brilliant shining moments, and underneath, we can also feel the sorrow that comes from living life, from experiencing life’s heartbreaks. That’s what makes the joy all the sweeter.
You can visit the author online here.
The publisher has offered a copy of this novel for me to give away. Just leave a comment below by Monday, March 26 at 11 p.m. CST, and I'll randomly pick a winner. Be sure to fill out the email portion of your comment form, so it won't be visible to others, but I will have a way to contact you.