Tag Archives: the tenth circle

The Tenth Circle


It’s one of those stormy days where I’d rather be sitting by the window, with a cup of coffee and a good book, hearing the raindrops hit the window.

I just got back from filming and the location was a young couple’s home in Punggol. I was early reporting for work today and had a bit of time to myself so I planted myself on their L-shape sofa by the floor to ceiling window to read my book “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter”. It’s not a feel-good book but I love the setting of the first chapter. Cold, wintry, harsh and difficult. I think it’s just perfect for Christmas. That aside, I wanna share this other book that I just finished reading with all of you.

I like Jodi Picoult because she has plenty of quotes about life, love, relationships which she use to round up sections of the story. Each paragraph is delivered with a punch that never fails to send shivers down my spine. I really liked the way it left me thinking about myself and the way my life parallels fiction. Her stories are ordinary yet this is exactly what is so frightening about it, that the things that happen to her characters could happen to us, the people we know and love, and when it really does, it wouldn’t just go away so easily with the flip of a page.

This book explores kinship and marital love through a man’s desperate attempt to reign in his character and prove to himself more than anyone else who he really is; the conflicts, desires, temptations faced by a growing teenager; and the emotional battle of a woman who is so afraid to confront the inconsistencies of her wants that she screws up her relationship with her husband and daughter.

It’s rather depressing to think about the lessons learnt, but in a perverse way, I’m also glad to draw certain conclusions from the story.

Anyone can try to hide who he really is, and for years, be able to fool the people around him, but the frightening truth is when you deceive yourself into thinking you have it all under control, that you actually believe you are no longer what you were before, when all it takes is just the click of a light bulb to unleash the nemesis from within. Where does that leave you?

The uncertainty that shrouds the mind of a growing teenager, who is bombarded with so much superficiality that she can’t differentiate right from wrong, imaginary from reality, who thinks she is saying something when everything else she does mean another. Reasoning and logic is marred with thrill and impulse. What if the only way out is to get yourself in? What if the only way to help is to stand and watch the worst happen?

If a conversation is punctuated with prolonged silences, you know something is wrong. You focus on why the relationship is not working out, instead of how it can work out; you blame the other person; you meet someone else and start anew. And then one day you realise that it’s you who has changed, not the other person. You realise that you are trying to fill up the so-called void in your heart when all these while you’re merely too full of yourself.

There is hope, I’m certain. Only if we are willing to confront who we are, and then let go.

All of it.