Free Letter to Sara Gruen Essay Sample
Your book is definitely a must-read. It is very easy to read and very understandable. The initial introduction of the story is excellent because it makes the reader yearn for more; the initializing story that a murder happened and it was the first time talking about it. The plot was very neatly done, I was eager to read to the next page, and the next page, and the next until the book lost pages and story end. The depression theme is perfectly done with the use of circus characters. I love the ideas that you combined into one perfect plot: the love triangle which depicts many conflicts like that that happened in the depression period, the circus that popularly rising at that time, the love for animals which is very touching and makes you feel for the animals. At the same time, you did not lose track of the present world which is depicted through the character's old self who is in a nursing home. This creates a very timely message that old people has feelings also. They do not want to be treated as a child. They have to be treated with empathy. Readers who have empathy will be able to appreciate more the importance of old people in their lives, maybe family members or friends. Furthermore, the Polish language you incorporated in the text is very easy to understand through its context. They can be read by even high school students like me without having a hard time finding a Polish dictionary.
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There are also parts of your book that I find weak and disappointing. This is whenever cruelty to animals is depicted. This may be a true story, but to emotional readers like me, it is very sad and cruel to see poor animals beaten up just because the person is a psychotic. In your book, it is not explicitly described what happens to the animals. Reactions of the characters characterize the scene, for example, "I return to the ring stock car and lie on my bedroll, sickened beyond belief by the thought of what's going on in the menagerie and even more sickened that I'm doing nothing to prevent it." (pg. 152) This is from Jacob as he imagines how gruesome the scene is. In general, your book is excellent. It is very inviting, every page is worth reading.
Please let me share to you my writing strengths and weaknesses as I see it. I believe that I write with honesty and empathy. I try to be transparent as I can. I want the readers to think. I am really into writing real-life news and stories, critical essays and opinions. However, I have limited imagination skills. I have limited creativity. I am having a hard time in producing a comprehensive plot like the one seen in your book. Writing transparently is a difficult task of joining it with writing creatively. Let me leave you with this one question: how can one write transparently without sacrificing creativity?