“Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation...” ~ Oscar Wilde
Suffice it to say that I'm not a big science fiction fan. Like many women, I find the idea of aliens, space ships, rockets, futuristic weapons, sea monsters, Big Foot, and the entire area surrounding Roswell, New Mexico to be a colossal annoyance. I have never watched the SciFi Channel on cable television. I had no idea that there were entire series that had garnered passionate followings. I was terribly disappointed to see how many recent films either had aliens on Earth as their 'surprise twist' at the end, or as the movie's entire premise. I was ready to walk out of the much anticipated final Indiana Jones movie, when the otherworldly zinger happened. I have never even seen E.T.
However, because I liked Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight" series so much, I was willing to give her newest novel, "The Host" a try. I was reluctant, to say the least. Yet, I'd heard Ms. Meyer's interviewed about how this novel came to be. As a mother myself, I could relate to her story. She was driving a long (and dull) distance with her boys in the back of the car. They had finally settled down and were watching a DVD on the integrated system. I remembered, when my children were younger, wanting to canonize the person who developed this. It prevented me from spending 10 hours in the car, dealing with arguments like "Mom! She's over the LINE!" or hearing "I'm not touching you!". Ms. Meyers then related her profound boredom at the monotony of the road ahead and wishing she had someone (over the age of 9) to talk to. The thought came to her: "What if there were two people living in my head?".
Therein lies the premise for "The Host". Once I got passed the slightly creepy and wee bit confusing first two chapters, I realized that this was an excellent story about two women, with different thoughts, different ideas and different priorities who come to love one another in a deep and true friendship. Some of their goals become common to one another. Others remain individual and intact. Rather than give a synopsis of the story, I'd prefer to reflect on how much I gleaned from a novel that I hadn't believed I'd enjoy. The relationship between Wanda (the alien who inhabits the host's body) and Melanie (the host herself) is both complicated and fascinatingly simple. They come to admire one another's strengths of character and conviction. They come to realize that each personality possesses gifts that the other lacks. They realize that together, they create a powerful and well balanced person. They give each other advice, understanding and unconditional love.
How often in life have each one of us wished we'd had someone to talk to? There are times when just speaking words loses meaning and intent. What would it be like to have a best friend who is so completely integrated into our thoughts, that she would understand our animus, our