Book 7: Fixing Delilah, Sarah Ockler

My original book 7 would have been This is What Happy Looks Like, as I have announced in my Facebook page. However, it didn’t work out the way I imagined. Or maybe I wasn’t in the mood for romantic stories.

So I picked up this book instead, Fixing Delilah (which by the way should be called Fixing Hannafords, I think). I started and finished reading the same morning which isn’t a big deal, but of course, it meant that the book was a good read. I was caught curled up in it the whole morning. The story is about the Hannaford family, where Delilah came from. It started with Delilah and her mom, Claire Hannaford, who had to travel back to Vermont for Delilah’s grandmother’s funeral. As sad as it was for a family to be reunited because of a lost member, sometimes, it’s the pain of losing that binds them tighter. There was a lot of pain ignored over the years, a lot of truth unspoken, and the Hannaford didn’t realized that the words they chose to be left unspoken have kept them apart for several years.

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I remember my college professor told the class once that in order for us to understand the present, we should first learn and understand the past. This came very true with this book. Delilah just couldn’t understand why they (Delilah and her mom) just stopped visiting her grandmother’s house for the summers. All she could remember was the fighting and the screaming. And so when the moment has come when she finally learns the truth about it from her mom, not only she was able to understood everything, but she also found this chance to renew their relationship which had gone bleak over the years.

Her story with her childhood summer friend, Patrick was predictable, though. Almost all stories I’ve read about summer involve a boy and a girl falling in love by the beach, or by the kayaks, while they enjoy the summer’s heat. I don’t complain about it. It’s just that, maybe it would be good to create another angle of summer love, maybe both of them are tourists in the area, or somehow, it won’t just be a summer visit but some sort of a permanent move. I mean, anything that will promise a welcoming change will do.

Criticizing it aside, there’s a lot I’ve learned from Fixing Delilah. First, time is the most precious thing you could offer to someone. Delilah might have been introduced as a difficult teenager in the opening of the story, but if her mom only had time for her! Also her late Aunt, Stephie wouldn’t be in so much trouble had her family took the time to determine what’s wrong with her. Second, life is short, and we don’t get much of a second chance to fix things. By the time Claire (Delilah’s mom) was ready to fix things, her mom was already dead. Stephie too, is already gone by the time they realized that maybe, if only they had taken the time to listen to their sister, they might have been able to salvage her life. Third, the truth, while must be treated with caution, should be told to the ones whom it affects. Not all truths are exactly beautiful. Most of them are painful enough that most of the time, we choose to keep it from the ones we love. But let us never forget that a lot of people deserve the truth. The truth about Delilah’s birth must have been very painful, but after the revelation, her mom became more open to her and much closer. In fact, that unspoken truth must have been the reason they fall apart in the first place.

Needless to say, I clearly enjoyed this book, and so anyone who’d decide to read it. But I stand by what I mentioned earlier. It should be be Fixing Hannafords.

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