Westfalia by Blake Hill is a novel about a man finding his way back to loving himself and life after being burdened with the news of his wife wanting a divorce. The main character is confused about the reasoning for his wife’s request because he believed that their marriage was immune to divorce. Unfortunately, he missed something within their love. While he is unsure of what he did to contribute to the divorce, he automatically puts the blame all on himself. He was left alone with negative thoughts and uncertainty of his place in the world without his wife and kids. Although it was his wife who called it quits, he couldn’t help but immerse himself in self-hatred. The character even considered death as an alternative to living as a “failure” in his marriage.
What makes this story most entailing is the way Blake Hill started it off with the spiral. There were no happy moments leading to the death of this marriage. This story started off with a feeling we can all relate to, that is sorrow. Another reason why this story was enjoyable was because of the way Blake Hill identified marriage. It takes two to make a marriage and it also takes two to make a divorce. The character in this story is an example of how easy it is to lose yourself in a relationship. Loving your partner with all of your heart is wonderful, but it’s also important to maintain your individuality. Thanks to Charlie, the character was able to learn how to find himself again.
This story has an abundance of meaning in it, but my favorite quote was “You have nothing until you reclaim your soul”. This doesn’t just apply to the character, this applies to anyone who has been gifted with a heartbeat. Without a soul, we are just shells living on autopilot life. As a hopeless romantic, it was hard to read about the death of a marriage, but the author did a fantastic job of unraveling the madness that was inside of the character’s head. The author has shown me that even in the darkest of times, we are capable of loving, forgiving, and living again.
Westfalia is a wildly imaginative novel that takes readers on a riveting adventure of hope and self exploration. This is an emotionally charged story that I found to be deeply contemplative and provides food for thought as well as the soul.