Monday, October 20, 2008

Oscar and the Lady in Pink

From the book:
‘My name is Oscar and I’m ten years old... They call me Egghead and I look about seven. I live in a hospital because of my cancer and I’ve never written to you because I don’t even know if you exist.’

Oscar is ill and no one, especially not his parents, will tell him what he already knows: that he is dying. Granny Rose, the oldest of the ‘lady in pink’ who visit Oscar and his fellow patients, makes friends with him. She suggests that he play a game: to pretend that each of the following twelve days is a decade of his imagined future. One day equals ten years, and every night Oscar writes a letter to God telling him about his life.
The ten letters that follow are sensitive, funny, heartbreaking and ultimately, uplifting. Oscar and the Lady in Pink is a small fable with a big heart; it will change the way you feel about death and about life.

My two cents worth:
Oscar and the Lady in Pink is a short story that revolves around a ten year old boy who is dying of cancer. As Granny Rose had suggested he wrote letters to God. His letters to God is sad yet uplifting, carrying messages on the importance of appreciating life which we often forget.
The letters carry mature messages on life that realistically it’s hard to believe it can come from a ten year old boy. However, the author’s ability to allow Oscar’s imagined future and his untimely maturity to develop with events that revolve around the hospital, reflective of how we age as normal human beings is touching.

I love what Oscar wrote in one of his last letters to God:
“I tried to explain to my parents that life was a strange present. At first we overestimate it, this present: we think we’ve been given eternal life. Afterwards, we underestimate it, we think it’s rubbish, too short, we’re almost prepared to chuck it away. In the end we realise it wasn’t a present, just a loan. So then we try to deserve it”

How true.

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