Hot holy damn, have you read this book?!
There are, on occasion, tiny things that make huge things happen in the world: the lump of plutonium in Little Boy, the butterfly that flapped its wings in Africa and caused Hurricane Katrina, the first fish that realized it could breathe air. And most recently, xTx’s book Normally Special.
There are many things I could say about this book. But if I was allowed only one thing, it’s that xTx has the gift of the perfect moment. This is a special gift. She understands how to take what other writers might write as an entire scene, and whittle it into the precise, devastating moment that gets at what can break a reader wide open.
To call these moments brutal would be an understatement, but they are also kind. They treat a reader with a tenderness you wouldn’t expect, with breastplate split so open, a pumping fist on your heart, a violence necessary to sustain life.
I keep thinking of the atomic bomb. I am in a loop. Something so terrible, so awful, and yet, it was dropped twice, both equaling a body count of over 200,000 people, but doing so saved hundreds of thousands more lives than they cost–a kindness in all that devastation, an end and a hope to something that had been so horrible for so long.