王若琳溫情推薦:悲傷、愚蠢、卻又充滿希望,這就是青春之所以美好的原因吧!

讀這本書,讀著書中女主角諾蜜的思緒,忍不住想起高中時代和家中姊妹還有朋友的嘻鬧、對話。同樣也是充滿了諷笑、自嘲、愚蠢,百分百的青少年語言。(我喜歡把自己想成永遠停留在那段青春歲月,永遠不會「脫離」那個階段。但其實,雖然不完全是這樣,我們更像是「失去」、而不是「脫離」了自己的青少年時期)。有時候,讀著這本書,高中生活的點點滴滴真的又浮現腦海。那個時候,所有的感覺都是這麼強烈,不管是歡笑甜蜜還是傷心苦澀。我記得,那時的自己,對一個叫納辛尼的男孩好有感覺。有的夜晚,我們兩個會坐在他的車裡,談一些深奧、偉大,但現在看來恐怕很可笑的事情。當然談著談著,我們也會親吻。這就是青春的美,每件事都好傷感、好笨、好憤怒,但同時又充滿希望。那時的我,一心就想著只要自由、只想要無拘無束,只想要能夠盡我的能力去經歷我所能經歷的一切。我想要有藝術氣質,想要聰明、想要很酷。可怎麼辦到呢?到現在都沒有概念呢。

 

Reading this book, and the thoughts of our protagonist, Nomi, I can't help but be reminded of the dialogues and jokes I held with my sisters and friends when I was in high school.  Sarcastic, self-deprecating, silly, and just overall teenage.  (I'd like to think that's a permanent phase for me that I'll never "grow out of."  Although I really wouldn't call it that, it's more like "lose" your teenage rather than grow of out it.)  There are times when, reading this book, I was really reminded of my highschool life; how everything was felt so fiercely, and that was for things both bitter and wonderful.  I remember how fiercely I felt about this boy named Nathaniel in high school.  Sometimes, we would sit in his car at night and talk about deep and profound things that are probably now laughable, and that’s when we would kiss.  That was the beauty of teenage, everything was so very sad, stupid, angry but hopeful.  I just wanted to be free and experience all that I could.  Be an artistic person, be a smart person, be somebody cool, but how?  Still trying to figure that out. 

諾蜜,一個敏銳又聰慧的女孩子,在保守的宗教氛圍中出生、長大。母親和姊姊被這個氛圍逼走了,只剩下父親和她相依為命。身為門諾教的一員,年輕的她,常常夢想著和全家人一起住在紐約。她的遭遇與心情,讓我們看見環境與愛之間的矛盾、叛逆與信仰的衝突。她要尋找一種信心,不是從宗教那裡,卻是透過現實生活中的失望。諾蜜的口氣裡,全是青少年的聰明味、小小的無力感,還有唯有青少年才有的特異功能──那種可以讓世界看起來總是既甜蜜又憂傷的能力。她的聲音,帶我們走過這趟旅程,從開始到結尾;一個承受了悲傷、困惑的少女,然而一路上,卻始終讓所有的回憶與愛,充滿了生命希望。

Nomi, a sharp and intelligent girl, was born and raised in a conservative religious atmosphere that pushed her mother and sister away, leaving her and her dad on their own.  Through her life as the Mennonite girl who often dreams of living New York with her entire family, she shows us the conflict between circumstance and love, rebellion and finding a particular faith, not in religion, but acquired through the disappointments she's faced.  Nomi's voice, always with that teenage wit, slight-helplessness and uniquely teenage way of making this world always seem sweet and sad, leads us through this journey from start to end about a girl who has endured grief and confusion but all along she has kept all the memories and love alive with hope.

 

 

文◎Joanna&王若琳

譯◎鄭明萱

 

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