The smaller things

First off, I loved this book.

I have read a lot of “small books” lately, stories that are less than 200 pages but in no way lacking heart. My favourite at the moment is Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong. This novel is about Ruth, who after suffering through a major breakup with her fiancé realizes she must finally acknowledge the mess that is her parents’ marriage as well as her father’s dementia. Ruth’s discovers good things as well; that her father kept a diary from when Ruth was little. He rips pages from it and leaves them around the house for Ruth to find and they are lovely and funny. There are so many funny bits in this novel, little discoveries given to us from the author, different ways of seeing simple things.

At one point Ruth wonders why she spends so much time on spending money instead of spending time with her family. Another time she is thinking about a good day she had with her stupid ex-fiancé Joel and wonders if now, since they are no longer together, it still counts as something that matters in her life. She is tired of things that don’t matter or don’t count.

Like I’ve said, the book is small so Khong gives us glimpses into these thoughts, but that’s all we need for them to stick. The novel is beautifully written and it is hard to imagine how the author fit so much into such a small space. It made my heart feel big. And have I mentioned how gorgeous the book’s cover is, because it is gorgeous.

Other wonderful, small books I have loved:

My Name Is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout
On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan
The Great Gatsby  – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Chicken soup with rice: a book of months – Maurice Sendak

-Sarah C.

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