Thursday, August 4, 2011
After being home for almost a week it is easier to reflect on the things I miss most about our trip. Going from a bustling Oxford to a low key Spokane, WA was somewhat of a shock to me. Although I am able to eat healthier here (no more KFC around the corner), and cook, and work out, and drive wherever I want Spokane just doesn’t compare to Oxford. In Oxford I could walk around and see a city that was based on more than businesses and people, there was history. My younger sister and I were discussing what makes a city in the US a real city in the first place and the stark truth is money. A place jam packed with new stores and restaurants will bring people so more businesses will open and the chain continues. It was different in Oxford, as it is different in many places outside the US. Most, or all, of the United States’ famous cities are famous for the services they provide to the people living there but in Oxford I got to witness centuries of history unite a city and a university.
Cloud Atlas blew my mind.
A book comprised of six intertwining stories, this novel presents a theme of human struggle and understanding. The book is laid out into six Part Ones and six Part Twos; we begin each story only to move onto the next and then return to satisfy any cliff hanger that we encountered in the first half of the book. The stories move chronologically from the South Pacific in the nineteenth century to a post-apocalyptic world far off into the future. Each story centers around a splice of one character’s life and showcases a profound look into human nature. What I thought was interesting was how each character had the same birthmark throughout the novel, half inferring that they were all the same soul drifting into different lives. I like that thought, that throughout thousands of years we are all drifting through time in new lives but profoundly connected to our past selves. I want to talk a little bit about my favorite characters and their stories.