[BOOKS] ✯ What Happened to Sophie Wilder ✴ Christopher R. Beha – Horse-zine.co.uk

What Happened to Sophie Wilder chapter 1 What Happened to Sophie Wilder , meaning What Happened to Sophie Wilder , genre What Happened to Sophie Wilder , book cover What Happened to Sophie Wilder , flies What Happened to Sophie Wilder , What Happened to Sophie Wilder 9d1c25f56eb21 Charlie Blakeman Has Just Published His First Novel, To Almost No Acclaim He S Living On New York S Washington Square, Struggling With His Follow Up, And Floundering Within His Pseudointellectual Coterie When His College Love, Sophie Wilder, Returns To His Life Sophie Is Also Struggling, Though Charlie Isn T Sure Why, Since They Ve Barely Spoke, After Falling Out A Decade Before Now Sophie Begins To Tell Charlie The Story Of Her Life Since Then, Particularly The Story Of The Days She Spent Taking Care Of A Dying Man With His Own Terrible Past And Of The Difficult Decision He Forced Her To Make When She Disappears Once Again, Charlie Sets Out To Discover What Happened To Sophie Wilder Christopher Beha S Debut Novel Explores Faith, Love, Friendship, And, Ultimately, The Redemptive Power Of Storytelling

10 thoughts on “What Happened to Sophie Wilder

  1. says:

    Curses Right now I m sitting here wishing that I was in a book club that just finished reading What Happened to Sophie Wilder by Christopher R Beha instead of not being in a book club and having just finished reading What Happened to Sophie Wilder by Christopher R Beha Alone In a bathrobe While my boyfriend is lying on the couch next to me, in the early chapters of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn There are so many things I want to talk about I want to deconstruct characters, especially Sophie I want to talk about the way Beha writes about religion I want to talk about dramatic quotes I want to spoil the ending I won t You know how some people associate numbers with color When I think of this book I see a thick hearty sandwich with prettily layered ingredients where every flavor is distinct and fresh and really pops When the novel opens, Charlie Blakeman is 10 years removed from college but still living in this kind of post college in between zone filled with parties and pretentious banter He lives with his cousin Max, a film critic for an alt weekly Charlie has just gotten a novel published one of those thinly veiled memoirs and instead of landing with a thud it blew into the world and out the back door without notice He s struggling to write his next book Then In walks Sophie They met in a college writing class and she was the star pupil Instead of passing around six page short stories for critique, she plops down 75 pages of well considered plot Sophie and Charlie develop a friendship sometimes than friendship and act as slow dancing muses for each other They have a falling out and never recover It s been than a decade since they spent any significant time together If she can sit still long enough, this might change So what happened to Sophie Wilder Well She got married to Tom, a vanilla law school dolt She wrote and published a promising book Mostly, though, she converted to Catholicism and retired from the writing game And fairly recently she took on nursing her husband s estranged and ailing father as he waited to die even though she, too, is now estranged from said husband Charlie s story is told in first person in alternating chapters with Sophie s, who gets third person treatment Charlie tries to weave his way back into Sophie s life when he has the microphone, Sophie s story is about becoming a devout Catholic and caring for Bill Crane Beha has created an interesting dichotomy between Charlie, lapsed Catholic, and Sophie, who is living in a way that is 100 percent in compliance with the Pope Beha handles her conversion and lifestyle in a way that is very tender, well considered, genuine and not at all the caricature it could have become In one scene, Charlie thinks about when Sophie told him that she had tried to save Bill Crane s soul I couldn t quite take it seriously I d been raised or less Catholic myself, gone to Catholic school my whole life but I don t think I knew a single person who would have spoken in that way about saving someone s soul The religious people I knew talked about their faith apologetically It was an embarrassment to their own reason and intelligence, but somehow a necessary one Their justification often suggested something vaguely therapeutic They needed a sense of meaning in their lives They wanted to believe that things happened for a reason To speak of souls and damnation, to speak of intervening in another life for the sake of salvation, was beyond all of this There are things I don t like about this book Most importantly, Charlie Blakeman is a sad sack little loser He s easily molded into submission by the wild child Sophie, who recreationally bangs other dudes not quite with his permission but with his understanding that if he wants to be with her he has to sign off on her rules Of course, this might be worth it Sophie is a really great character who teaches him a lot about literature and, artistically, they feed off each other and booze and cigarettes Together they make a really nice aesthetic of what you hope college will be like Two people creating and getting bigger and better Ultimately Charlie does stand up to her when she does something pretty unforgivable Still, he forgives his cousin the other half of the unforgivable act Also There are some wide load gestures with Sophie as a Christ like character There is a sponge bath scene where she washes away Mr Crane s messy accident and in another scene she feeds him his pain pills in a way that smacks of communion This is goes just a millimeter too close to getting walloped with a bible None of these grievances are distracting enough to take away from the fact that this is a lovely book and a truly unique story.

  2. says:

    Its taken me almost two months to make my way through this book I didn t like it at all for 90% of the book Maybe I m getting lazy in my middle age, but I m not very fond of books jumping through time, switching narrators, switching narrative styles, and then opening new chapters without any explanation as to when you are setting the chapter Its clearly a popular writing technique these days, but I find it confusing, and distracting from the writing and the story I also didn t like Sophie, nor did I really care for Charlie And having just slaved my way through A Visit With The Goon Squad, I was afraid I was 0 2 with unlikable characters and writing styles.This being said, something happens in the last few chapters that blew me away, and totally made me go back and re evaluate what I had been reading And something miraculous happened to me my opinion of the book changed Like that I understood why the narrators changed, why we moved from first person to third person, and back again What had been driving me crazy, I began to see as genius Without giving away too many spoilers, for the haters out there who gave up, its worth reading it through the end The last line that Sophie ever speaks to Charlie is so telling, and I m glad I stuck with the book Sad I couldn t make my book club discussion of the book, though, because I m now dying to talk about it with folks.

  3. says:

    I don t usually write reviews, but I was so astonished by some of the bad ones that I felt compelled to say something I loved this book I have read it at least three times, maybe , since it came out It was one of those books where I was pleasantly surprised to find that it than lived up to the hype surrounding its release I went to something like three bookstores to find it, and finally cracked and bought the Kindle version after reading the sample I read it all that night and cried seriously when I looked down and realized I had read 90% of it And then I bought it in book format So it s safe to say I really enjoyed this book, and thought it deserved every glowing critical review it received And as a writer, I thought that it perfectly captured what it is to be a writer in a way that managed not to feel precious.That said, I know some people didn t I ve heard people whose opinion I respect tell me that they didn t like it, that Charlie was too whiny, etc, and I see some of those comments echoed here And I m not sure why that is, but now I think it may be because a lot of those people Weren t writers So now I m curious Did anyone really love this book that wasn t a writer And if not, does that say something really revealing about writers, or just me

  4. says:

    I have to break my modus operandi because I can t review this book in six words, and I can t stay silent about it, either It really bugged me But not because I think that Beha is a poor writer on the contrary, I could not put the book down and read it within a few hours This is not common for me at all The subject matter is intensely interesting to me, and the prose is sophisticated, beautiful But what bugs me is that this is a novel that is, at least in part, about a woman s conversion to Catholicism, and Beha seems to me quite literally to be unable to imagine why a talented and beautiful young woman would want to convert Now let me be clear I can understand why Beha s stand in for himself Charlie Blakeman never could get his mind wrapped around the mystery of Sophie, and that is fine Then he should have stuck to the first person point of view and not tried to tell the story from Sophie s perspective at all In short, the third person omniscient perspective on Sophie made little sense to me how can someone obviously so smart and observant seem only to have vaguely T.S Eliot like reasons for so significant a life change That is Blakeman s view, not anyone who would actually convert.

  5. says:

    I read this book both because a trusted friend highly recommended it to me and because it was published by my new publisher, Tin House It s a treat to read a novel that is simply different from the regular run of fiction, however excellent, that fills one s reading days Sophie Wilder is brief and the prose is unshowy sometimes sliding into unexpected loveliness but the intention and the intelligence behind the work is unabashedly serious Charlie Blakeman, the 28 year old narrator, meets Sophie Wilder when they are college freshmen, and they form a deep friendship based on their passion for reading and writing and less reliably each other s bodies Sophie is an elusive type, prone to emotional and physical disappearing acts Eventually she and Charlie have a falling out, and when Sophie next appears in his life she has married and converted to Catholicism The questions at play what are the demands of religious faith What do they have to do with invention and the imagination Are they compatible with earthly happiness unravel throughout the remainder of the novel The last pages dramatically reconfigure everything that comes before not an easy feat to pull off.

  6. says:

    This author is a beautiful writer he obviously cares very much about all the words and sentences he offers He might be a little too much in love with his own process, however His story and characters need color and energy Some of the most important events happen off screen, SPOILERS Examples the aquarium, what actually happened to Sophie Wilder There is no conversation re the clippings with Bill Crane or Tom where is that We need to be there for these events Charlie s non reaction to SW s final choice is confusing More words are spent on his visit to the convent than his arrival home.I suspect confrontation is not something this writer does very much in his life Pardon the armchair therapy Once he has a little life under his belt, these essential scenes might make an appearance They need to.The book, itself, is gorgeous, and I commend Tin House for the product.I have read both books from this writer, and my best counsel would be get out and live A life of the mind begets thoughtful prose, but we want to get out of our heads and out of your head and into new and remarkable worlds.I admit I skipped all the parts about Catholicism I suspect you might have to be Catholic to have them resonate If you don t know NYC, you might skip some of the detailed walks, too.I will read from this writer He ll get better As his life goes on, I have no doubt he ll have adventures, and turn them into fiction.

  7. says:

    I hope it s not clich if I say this novel felt to be a fitting continuation of folks like Mauriac, Greene, O Connor, and Walker Percy I don t mean to pigeonhole it with that just to say I felt that the book did justice to the complexities and ambiguities of both faith and doubt, to what Charles Taylor describes as the cross pressure of our secular age The end of the story heartbreakingly inhabits that space without letting us off the hook And I ll be honest page 133 is going to make a regular appearances in talks I give around the country with due acknowledgement, of course , and probably into my next editorial for Comment magazine.I loved the light handed but suggestive architectonic of the book The Stars Above The Law Within but I suppose philosophers are not exactly representative readers However, I also appreciate Beha s psychological sympathy, the generosity of his voice when letting us peek into the hearts and minds of his characters There was just one point where Crane felt a little deus ex machina, but that vanished as his character developed I m also envious of Beha s ability to craft the sorts of pregnant lines that do so much with so little, like If I could be just one thing now, that would be it someone going somewhere with Sophie Wilder or She only nodded in response, as if to say I know he did that s why I found you Gold.I am unofficially declaring this the companion novel to How Not To Be Secular.

  8. says:

    I read this recently and don t remember what it was about Oh, right, it s about a guy drifting though life who runs into his former college girlfriend During college, they would walk for hours in NYC making up elaborate stories for their future best selling novels She got published and became semi famous He got published and became unknown She marries and finds Catholicism He drifts some Several years pass and they meet again at a party It s destiny, he thinks, yet ultimately, not the destiny he wants The books goes back and forth in time, every other chapter telling the story of the girl, Sophie, and the years in between college and the party At times, the book is of an internal discussion about life, love and remembrances than a story with dialogue and action It s well written, if muted and meh There was a potential section where I perked up from the doldrums and thought, wow, this just gave the entire story new meaning, but it was just my wishful thinking A borderline two three star.

  9. says:

    This story was hard for me to get into The first part of the story was slow And it was almost frustrating at times to understand the relationships which were important in the story The second half of the book I couldn t put it down Things start to come together and you are left feeling satisfied with the new information given by the author The story is also told in an alternating fashion between past and present between chapters until they merge, or so it seemed I would love to hear the perspective from others on the ending A lot is left to the reader to determine reality from just another story that the characters were writing.

  10. says:

    This was unlike any book I have ever read before When I finished it, I sat for a very long time thinking about the ending, and all the pieces that came together To say this was well crafted is an understatement It also contains plenty of ambiguity, which is what makes good literature This is one book I wish I had read in a class where I could discuss it with othersthat good, that complex, that compelling I am happy to say I have Behe s memoir here to read, which also promises to bring many gifts.

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