“I don’t know that poets will ever have a public role again but for me poetry is something that must be read closely because the finest work demands a radical empathy.” (Unproofed, uncorrected copy page 91)
I REGRET EVERYTHING is a story I highly recommend to all readers. Written by a poet and satirist, this novel is compact and complete in expressing it’s theme; the words are silken and clever all at the most wonderful pace. The vulnerability, which is expressed between these two characters, is heart opening and magical in ways that make the reader empathize and want to know that depth of connection.
Jeremy Best is an estate lawyer in a huge firm in NYC; he wanted to be a writer/poet but his graduate school advisor damaged that possibility. He made poetry his secondary career and had several poems published in notable periodicals. He had his life all planned out and safe, hoping to make partner in the firm and had not found a life partner at age 33.
Spaulding, the boss’s daughter, is 19 and has been in boarding school in Europe, came home and tried to commit suicide. She needs to be under care and on medications if her divorced parents have their way. She would like to be a writer and a poet and while working at her father’s law firm she discovers that Mr. Best is a published poet. She who is quirky and shy begins a friendship with Mr. Best and they text poetic lines to each other as she works on life and figuring out where she needs to be to go forward with her dream.
“By the time he finished the cake he was less vexed. It’s truly amazing the power of knowing someone, somewhere, is willing to listen to you for free, to know you’re less alone than you think. Isn’t that what everyone with a beating heart really wants? To know they’re not alone. When it started to get dark and I told him he had to go back to Connecticut he was too tired to argue. We returned to my apartment to get his suitcase.” Spaulding to younger step brother Marshall (Page 251)
I know that all good poetry needs to be read a number of times, as with this story. There is so much to enjoy and one reading will not resolve all the dynamics into an evolution of thought or action. I do not think I would like to see this story made into a movie the words are so crucial for me and the producers would change it into a plain old love story – banal and trite. The words are so important – wondrous.
What does it mean to be alive? What is this reference to no regrets at death and yet these evolved characters are having lives full of regrets and control? The discovery of authentic self is dynamic at any age; toss in humor and WOW.
TLC Book Tours sent me a copy of this book for review and I am thankful.
About Seth Greenland (from TLC page)
Seth Greenland is a novelist, playwright, and a screenwriter. He was a writer-producer on the Emmy-nominated HBO series Big Love, is an award-winning playwright, and the author of the novels The Angry Buddhist, The Bones, and Shining City, which was named a Best Book of 2008 by the Washington Post. Greenland lives in Los Angeles with his family.
Seth Greenland Online
Seth Greenland Wikipedia