Watching and waiting as someone else reads a book you already know they’ll love. It’s like having found treasure buried in the yard, exclaiming to yourself out loud as you bite your hand in disbelief and starry-eyed delight, and then furtively reburying it. Later the next day you watch on the sly from behind the curtains as someone else unearths the same precious stones.

Hearing your brother’s exclamation as he gets to the point in chapter two where the narrator comes clean about the fact that, since he’s never actually encased his penis in anaesthetic cream and performed surgery on it, he can’t be certain how badly his son’s impending circumcision will hurt. Or the part in chapter eleven where he hears of how the former father-in-law declared, while the narrator was still married to his daughter, that the day of their union was the happiest of his life, and experiences, as you did, a flash-bulb moment of poignant illumination in realizing along with the narrator, again but for the first time, how much our lives affect other people.


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