What books have you recently read for pleasure? Choose one and describe its impact on you.
I spent much of the summer in the basement of a Dublin Castle, jaws clenched and synapses firing as the identity of the murderer continued to evade my grasp of reason. The first surprise was not really a surprise but the fact remained astounding nevertheless: the killer was not the individual with the saturnine past. The second revelation was that I was not captivated by the death as I was by the intricate web of human emotions that framed and were framed by the death. Thus, reading Tana French’s writings did not only deepen my understanding of my Irish heritage but also allowed me a glimpse of human behavior in its raw form.
French’s series, the Dublin Murder Squad, showed me how trauma can impact the way we think and behave, as well as the means by which we seek to build inner strength. As a teenager who constantly questions how I perceive the world around me, I was relieved by the observation that, regardless of age, race, or gender, we as humans establish personal balance by the same scales. My mother often criticised my interest in ‘gloomy’ books, but reading such titles as French’s Broken Harbor compelled me to trust my instincts and core measures of goodness. I have since left that Dublin Castle but my interactions with others are still marked by a deliberate perceptiveness as I search for clues to the biggest mystery of all: the sheer unpredictability of human emotions.