Book 21: Love is the Higher Law, David Levithan

After more than a month of silence, here’s the newest book on my reading challenge – Love is the Higher Law. I have to admit that I had a hard time deciding what’s going to be the next book to read. I have a very selective taste in reading nowadays.

I haven’t read a lot of David Levithan – his works are in a different concept than that of I am accustomed for when it comes to reading. But this book, Love is the Higher Law talked about something that one can fully grasp the concept but one can never understand, unless one had been through it. It demonstrated something that none of us could ever forget soon enough. The September 11 New York bombing.

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The story is written from the point of view of three different characters – Claire, Jasper and Peter. All of them are teenagers who were doing different things when the enormous towers collapsed. Claire was at school, looking for her younger brother and her mom, Jasper never witnessed the whole thing for he slept late, and Peter was in a record store listening to some music as the terrorists attacked. Three different people whose lives are somehow intertwined through the last party they’ve all attended. Who would have thought that a tragedy will take place after that night?

What struck me most is the extremity of Jasper’s and Claire’s feelings toward what happened. As Jasper didn’t seem to care, or maybe he cannot bring himself to care enough, Claire tried to find a way to immerse herself in the tragedy. I should say that Claire’s point of view is my favorite. In her thoughts I felt the different kinds of emotions to be witnessed amidst the people experiencing the pain of grief and unexpected loss. The place and its state was also vividly described that I could almost see myself standing right in the middle of chaos and debris brought about by inhumanity.Β 

In the end, the three characters got closer together, as they talked about that fateful 9/11. Maybe the message is that, differences make no difference when people are placed in an unfathomable tragedy and they don’t have much option but to rely on each other for strength and hope. Their common denominator has been the New York tragedy, and even though it is a dark common ground for them, they were able to still see light.

Love is the Higher Law is a book that teaches all of us that compassion arises even morr than ever when tragedy occurs. It isn’t all about hate, war and retaliation, but more of love, kindness and empathy to those who lost their loved ones. It’s all about giving each and everyone the hope that despite the dark days, someday, somehow, everything will be fine again, if never the same or even completely normal. All of us would totally relate in this story, not just because no one of us could easily forget that day – it is already a part of history. And all of us are also part of it.

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