I finished "The Illumination" (2011) by Kevin Brockmeier in early February but barely a week has gone by when I haven't thought of it. Saying I liked it or not seems beside the point. Feels more accurate to say I had an experience.
The six main characters in this book have two things in common - each is in some kind of pain and the diary of a dead woman, previously known to only one of the six, helps temporarily soothe that pain. The six additionally share something with everyone else in the world; their pain, no matter the type, is now visible. Pain illuminates any person experiencing it. And the light originates from where the person feels the pain.
The book jacket asks: What if our pain was the most beautiful thing about us? I'm still processing that one. The question that's continually occurred to me since having this experience is: How often am I overlooking the pain in others?