hey! i’m christina, i’m from chicago and am super excited to have an excuse to read for fun again.
I think this question is interesting because i spent most of the first third of the book not really thinking about anything other than the “slice of life” of richard that we’re given. Which maybe is poor reading on me, but I gravitate more towards the school of camp that the book (at least this section) isn’t really trying to make big claims about the state of the world as much as it is making a lot of very smal claims about the state of richards world which might allow us insight into our own personal world which maaaaaybe if we think really hard about it might give us insight to the whole world at large.
themes of death were also really interesting to read as someone who is really young. I am (hopefully) nowhere near the part of my life where the people i love and care about and grew up with are starting to pass away from natural causes and the way paddy’s death and richards thoughts about it were presented felt so bleak. in general, reading this as a young person feels really bleak, to be honest. like no one plans on becoming a richard but there are many of them im sure.
overall i am really intrigued as to where ali smith takes the story next. the juxtaposition of richard feeling like he is at the end of his life + paddy’s passing against the literal title of the book, which implies youth and hope and light creates a really interesting lens through which to see everything happening.