18 August 2015

Pantheon of Riches: A Review of The Imperfectionists, Tom Rachman

Mere weeks from now I will be meandering down our street intent upon my son's progression into his second year of schooling. Not one to shrug convention, we whole-heartedly joined the multitudes of Ontario families last year, enrolling our wee one into his first of two years of kindergarten. That junior year was a pantheon of riches with each month a new exploration into emotional, social and educational avenues. With senior kindergarten looming, and this our first summer dictated by the school calendar, I ponder on where the summer actually went. The two months seemed to have flowed through my fingers, yet joy bounces through our house.

As my toddler grew from a two to three to a four year old pre-schooler I lingered on the past, missing the chubby cheeks, the giggly-worthy mispronounce of 'dinowhore'. Tears would spill down my cheeks each fall as I packed away clothes, aware that the little lobster shorts would never be worn again. But now, as my son and I wander through the halls of the Royal Ontario Museum discussing the merits of bats to the ecology I realize how pointless those tears were. The pure happiness of parenthood is discovering who that little baby will become. Our future is bright, our past is cherished but the present that surrounds us, is all that matters. 

Not every moment is perfect, disagreements abound; this girl's life is not 'facebook' perfect. But it is my life with my son and my husband, a unique, quiet little life that we actively create, keeping life less busy, less full of events, more into park days and books. With the rush of September approaching, a good read is needed to ground oneself to the moment that is this season. Having found this read in Tom Rachman's The Imperfectionists, I recommend you to read it as well. Not a science fiction book, The Imperfectionists attempts to capture the realities of the newspaper world. Set in Rome, the reader bounces through decades, following the inception and death of an international newspaper geared for the expats of the world. 

Beautifully simple in it's design, The Imperfectionists is a gathering of lives. The chapters are dedicated to the nuances of each person's character by revealing a personal crisis. I am haunted by this book. This is the art that Tom Rachman has with the printed word, the talent to make life dramatic, elegant, as we the readers witness countless small heartbreaks that define the employees of this nameless newspaper. The Imperfectionists captures the imperfections of life, the reality that no one life is perfect. While it reveals the inner workings of journalism, it lacks the altruistic, objective journalism often portrayed in many novels. By focusing in upon the people of the newspaper, allowing each character a moment in time, the novel explodes with richness. I loved this book and plan on reading more of this gifted writer.

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