Last night after I had finished reading this book, there still lingered a smile on my face. I had read last 100-ish pages in a rush. It was only after I finished reading and put the book down that I realized that I was going to miss this charming book.
After hearing out little anecdotes and life stories of a multitude of characters, after reliving moments of their lives through their stories, it is now time to say our goodbyes. I stand at the doorstep waving my hand and watching those figures shrink in the distance. I already miss them. Long after the last one of them has gone past the horizon, one would see me still leaning against the door-frame, lost in my thoughts and smiling to myself. Someone gently touches my shoulder and wakes me up from daydreams. I go back inside to get back to my daily responsibilities, but today it is somehow different. Today is different because I carry this refreshing and heartwarming feeling within me.
Now I am having a hard time figuring out what book to read after this while I go through a Perec withdrawal. I certainly don't want a book to punch me in the gut with its 'life is harsh' or 'the world and its people are going to the dogs' messages right now. Perec's Life is uplifting and pro-life. Perec daubs the canvas with uncountable shades, from humorous to heart-breaking. But he is never pessimistic. I wouldn't want its refreshing fragrance to fade away too fast.
The novel has been written following several constraints. But it in no way alienates the reader. The reader is warmly welcomed with open arms and made to feel at home. This book is best read slowly over a couple of weeks while savoring little moments and several lives you encounter through this.