To open a book is to make a promise. I open the book and promise that I will read through the set-up, that I will devote myself during the time it takes for a story to slowly emerge from its pages. The author, in turn, promises me a pay-off, to revel in emotion, only dully present in my own day to day life experience.
This is a promise I make often; I like to think I’ve been around a bookshelf or two in my day. But What I loved by Siri Hustvedt broke me, I mean completely and utterly broke me.