July 11, 2020

Exeter, Devon, England

In reading a book, I inevitably identify so totally with the main character that I can honestly claim to have lived other lives than just my own. Nor must those characters whose lives I so vividly experience be of my own gender, age, or race. In a fictional universe conjured for me by a skilled story-teller, I am as often male as I am female. At age eighteen, believe it or not, I have already endure the frustrations and disappointments of old age. I have, at times, been heroic, but I have also suffered the shame of having found myself in disgrace. I have borne too the weight of guilt for deeds that can never be undone. And I feel acutely the rentment of injustice done me and others like me for reasons entirely beyond our control.

Reading fiction, especially if it be well written, enables understanding, develops empathy, and has, therefore, the power to make one a better person. The reader has only to allow himself/herself to be drawn into the story. The author will do the rest.