In seven years she would be living in California. Her mother WOULD DIE of cancer. She would be engaged to a man whose profession she had no interest in, prior to loving him. She would never again imagine moving back to the place where she was raised. The place SHE had almost died. Successfully she would part ways with the men she had shared relationships with from the past. She will have completed her goals in a foreign country and even reached pinnacles she never imagined. She would have learned more about her pain, sadness, compassion and understand the true exchange of love between herself and another- what most people learn in a lifetime. Going back to anyone in the past would be like reliving the past for her... She wouldn't entirely know the power in this until she looked into the eyes of her unborn son ... and understood the meaning of Him- seeing Herself in his gorgeous innocent eyes. And of those who hurt her (living out their own lessons in life and love), and of those she hurt (as a result of her youth and ignorance), to those she abandoned in order to survive, and to those she would carry with her always and forever...when asked if she would Make All Those Same Decisions Again, uncomfortably and with a great deal of weight which translated into thought ,she spoke clearly "yes".
"One of the pleasant things about owning a slave" I said, "is the opportunity to converse with her, to hear her express herself, her feelings and ideas. One can learn so much from a slave. Many slaves, like yourself are highly intelligent. They can express themselves articulately, clearly, trenchantly, and lyrically. It is a great pleasure to talk with them. Then when one wishes, " I said, "one puts them again on their knees."
This novel was one that I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed! Staged sometime in the future (mainly NYC)Gary Shteyngart paints his readers a fear based world of authoritarianism where youth, your net worth (by way of assets and credits), and political connections have EVERYTHING to do with your survival. In this interesting and frightful new world, our main character balding, half attractive, second generation Russian Jew Lenny Abramov (39yrs) falls in love with 24yr old, petit, cynical, and retail addicted Korean Eunice Park. Although the pair are extremely mismatched, there is a simplistic, sad, nurturing and vulnerable companionship that these two share translating into LOVE.
A Sarcastic, funny, youthful, yet intellectual and soulful read about a world we can not yet imagine and a love whose honesty we can only hope for.