“Memories are stiff, but thoughts are freer things. They throw out roots, they spread and tangle, and come untethered from their source.” – The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

I am such a sucker for quotes.  Books, movies, music, it doesn’t matter, put some great words together for me and I just want to put them on a wall and admire them like a work of art.  That is what they are, works of art, and V.E. Schwab placed a bunch of them in her book, “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue”.

“What is a person, if not the marks they leave behind?”

“Funny, how some people take an age to warm, and others simply walk into every room as if it’s home.”

“Live long enough, and you learn how to read a person. To ease them open like a book, some passages underlined and others hidden between the lines.”

“Pain can be beautiful. It can transform. It can create.”

“Everything changes. It is the nature of the world. Nothing stays the same.

That last one really sums so many things up.  Do we like it?  Not always. Is it for the best?  We might never know. 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was our August Book Club title. I consider this piece “contemporary” fiction, but maybe “modern’ would be a better term. Literature changes as the times change.  The sexuality of the two main characters could be described as “fluid’.  “Sexual fluidity, in short, means your sexual orientation isn’t permanently fixed.”  Don’t stop reading, I promise I won’t spend a lot of time on this, and it serves a purpose in my bookworm. 

I knew this would be, if not an issue, at least a pause for our book club members.  “Everything changes.”  

Let’s consider the history of the Pledge of Allegiance. 

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country.

In its original form it read: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  In 1923, the words, “the Flag of the United States of America” were added.  In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words “under God,” creating the 31-word pledge we say today. Today it reads: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

“Nothing stays the same.”  The fluidity of each character served a purpose in the story, not just for the sake of being “modern.”  When we look at the changes to the pledge, one could say there was a purpose, not just for the sake of being “different, modern, relevant, current” or maybe you would disagree, on both accounts, and say that the changes were not necessary.  Or maybe one was okay, one was not.  My point is this, I am for any change that has purpose, I am for any change that brings us together, I am for any change that acknowledges that we are not all the same and more importantly, I can accept that we might not like the change.  I will leave you with one last quote from Schwab.

“Nothing is all good or all bad. Life is so much messier than that.”  

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