Reads simple and light but swims deep inside Apr 1, 2007
I'm an adult woman living in the year 2007, so what use would I have for a young-adult novel written in 1982? Actually, quite a bit! Times have changed, and I have changed, but the young girl in me has not changed. She's just been pushed deep inside, where her real feelings and emotions are kept safe, protected.
In A Long Time Between Kisses, Billie is that person. Hard on the outside, but very soft on the inside. Sixteen years old and living in Soho, she is trying to cope with her father’s drug addiction, her mother’s new boyfriend, a break up, her feelings for a boy with multiple sclerosis...She knows how to act as if nothing is bothering her, knows how to pretend everything is fine, but really she is scared and hurting inside. As the reader, I was even fooled by Billie. After a confrontation with her mother, she is hanging out at Vinnie’s sharing a cappuccino with her girlfriend, and we’re not even sure she’s upset. Sounds familiar to me. She views the world around her, kind of half noticing – a good defense mechanism – but deep inside she really is noticing, really is feeling pain, really is asking questions, and really doesn’t know what to do. She walks through life and tries to keep things light on the surface, however there is something moving around deeper inside.
This is a simple book, doesn’t take any work at all to read. Sometimes it even seems too simple. But simplicity brings comfort to the complex person. It is soothing to make something simple out of something that is far from simple.
It is a light read, yet it holds intensity, depth. And it holds answers.
When Billie is finally alone with what is really inside, she doesn't know what to do with it.
'I was feeling lonely. Being alone and being lonely are two different things. I like to be alone sometimes but I hate feeling lonely. It's like drifting in space wrapped in a wet blanket and I guess that feeling prompted what I did next.
I'd never been too tight with God but now I thought maybe I'd say a prayer. It was hard to start cause I really didn't know how. And more than that, I didn't know what to pray for. So I hemmed and hawed around, like they say, and then finally I just said: "God, how about making everything work out the way it should?"
It was real strange how that prayer was answered.'
Reading this book was comforting to me, because I then went on to read how everything Billie was worried about worked itself out just the way it should. I applied this to my own life, my own situation, and then watched as everything worked out (just the way it should).
I am an avid reader, and every book I read touches me somewhere inside. Some more than others. A Long Time Between Kisses ranks high on that list. It touched me deep inside, brought me closer to myself and closer to life.