The feeling of finishing a novel is one that goes like this: A feeling of loss coupled with a knowing that there is a need to let go. The feeling is one that any reader would understand: as they hold their breaths for that last time when they read the last pages of that good book. It is a feeling or rueful longing, and of unshakable reverie; One of hopeless desperation that the novel would never end. Because when you’ve known the characters for who they are, not just as words on a book on another page, but read them as people with feelings and dreams, it… it becomes that much harder to forget. Not because they were written to be remembered, they never existed. But rather because they, like works of art and literature, reflect the essence of any other human that lives; stubborn with a fierce defiance to never be forgotten. When you are captured by this realization, a book no longer exists as a book, it becomes a story, a memory, a moment captured in time.
Because even if it never existed in our time, they existed in someone else’s mind.
Their decisions and choices, their moments of loss and pain are engraved into your soul. Moments of happiness, of love and of beauty, these things no longer become just of the characters’ or the author’s; They become your own, warping your thoughts to worlds far away; Unreachable. These moments become like threads of satin woven into the fabric of our lives, delicate, and all round beautiful when laced and held together in place. Because these moments are not our own, works of art that never existed, but they still teach us things, morales and virtues to be held, and to be emulated. That is the reason why we read novels: to satisfy our curiosity through other eyes, and then, to find hope, in one way or another.