Letters to Juliet versus Dead Stars


Letters to Juliet

Letters to Juliet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few days ago, I watched “Letters to Juliet“. Sophie, a fact checker for The New Yorker, is engaged to be married. She and her fiance go on a ‘pre-honeymoon’ to Italy. During one of her walks in the city of Verona, she stumbles upon Juliet’s balcony. Turns out, there’s a tradition in Verona wherein women from all over the world go there and post their letters to Juliet. These letters mostly deal with heartache, and the women ask Juliet for her advice. At the end of the day, a ‘secretary of Juliet’ comes to collect the letters. The Secretaries of Juliet is an organization of women whose job is to read the letters and send an answer back to the women who’ve written to Juliet. Well, Sophie follows this secretary and she ends up becoming a sort of ‘honorary’ secretary of Juliet. One day, while helping one of the secretaries collect the letters, she discovers a letter, written fifty years ago, hidden in the wall.

“I didn’t go to him Juliet. I didn’t go to Lorenzo. His eyes were so full of trust. I promised I’d meet him to run away together because my parents don’t approve but instead I left him waiting for me below our tree, waiting and wondering where I was. I’m in Verona now. I return to London in the morning and I’m so afraid.

Please Juliet, tell me what I should do. My heart is breaking and I have no one else to turn to.

Love, Claire

The letter was written by Claire, an Englishwoman, who lives in London. Fifty years ago, she came to Italy to study. There, she met Lorenzo, a simple local boy who picked grapes at a vineyard. They fell in love with each other, and planned to elope, but Claire got cold-feet and left him. She went back home to London where she married somebody else.

Sophie answered the letter:

“‘What’ and ‘if’ two words as nonthreatening as words come. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: ‘What if?’…

I don’t know how your story ended. But I know that if what you felt then was love – true love – then it’s never too late. If it was true then why wouldn’t it be true now? You need only the courage to follow your heart…

I don’t know what a love like that feels like… a love to leave loved ones for, a love to cross oceans for… but I’d like to believe if I ever felt it. I’d have the courage to seize it. I hope you had the courage to seize it, Claire. And if you didn’t, I hope one day that you will.”

To cut to the chase, Claire, now a widow, receives Sophie’s letter and flies to Italy, along with her grandson, to find Lorenzo. After travelling all over the Italian countryside, and a number of wrong turns, they finally find Lorenzo, now a wealthy vineyard owner, and himself a widower. So they pick up where they left off fifty years ago, and they get married, and live in Lorenzo’s vineyard, happily ever after.

As I was watching the film, I couldn’t help thinking about this story I read in Contemporary Philippine Literature class back in my freshman year of college – “Dead Stars” by Paz Marquez Benitez.Image

Alfredo is engaged to be married to Esperanza. They have been together a long time, and Esperanza is eagerly waiting for the marriage date. One day, Alfredo goes “neighboring” around their town. There he meets Julia, the town judge’s young sister-in-law, who is in town for a visit. Alfredo finds Julia attractive and interesting. He starts spending a lot of time with her, and yes, falls in love with her, to the point of almost breaking off his engagement with Esperanza. But Julia does not approve of his breaking his word to Esperanza, and she says good-bye to Alfredo.

Alfredo eventually marries Esperanza. Eight years pass… Alfredo is in Julia’s town for a business trip. He goes to visit Julia, still unmarried, whom he has never forgotten. But when he comes face to face with the Julia, he is surprised to find that he no longer feels the same way for her. The love he had felt for her has faded.

“So that was all over.

Why had he obstinately clung to that dream?

So all these years–since when?–he had been seeing the light of dead stars, long extinguished, yet seemingly still in their appointed places in the heavens.

An immense sadness as of loss invaded his spirit, a vast homesickness for some immutable refuge of the heart far away where faded gardens bloom again, and where live on in unchanging freshness, the dear, dead loves of vanished youth.”

And thus, my question, how do we know if it’s really true love, one that will survive five, ten, twenty, fifty years of separation, as opposed to just seeing the light of dead stars, love that has long been extinguished, and we’re only seeing the light, the idea, that we are still in love with that person?

Just Another Wemmick Monday


“You are Special” by Max Lucado tells the story of a village of Wemmicks.

The Wemmicks are small wooden people all carved out by a woodworker named Eli. Some Wemmicks were tall, some were short, some had big eyes, some had small noses. Some Wemmicks were good at sports, others were talented singers. And then there were some who could only do little things and were not very pretty or talented at all. All day, everyday, the Wemmicks did only one thing: give stars or dots to each other. You see, each Wemmick had a box of golden star stickers and a box of gray dot stickers. The good-looking, talented, or athletic Wemmicks got golden stars – lots of them. And some got A LOT of golden stars that they keep doing other stuff in order to gain more stars. On the other hand, the Wemmicks who could do very little were given gray dots. 

Punchinello was one such Wemmick. He wasn’t good-looking, he wasn’t athletic, and he had no special talent. He’d try to improve himself and dare to do difficult things, but he’d fail and then the other Wemmicks gave him more gray dots. And then the Wemmicks would give him more gray dots for having too many gray dots! Things got so bad that he preferred to stay home – or if he went outside, he’d hang out with the Wemmicks who also had lots of gray dots. 

One day, Punchinello met a Wemmick unlike any other. She didn’t have any stars or dots. She was just wooden. Her name was Lucia. It wasn’t that the other Wemmicks did not try to give her stars or dots; they did. They just didn’t stick. When a Wemmick tried to give her a star, it just fell off. When a Wemmick tried to give her a dot, it also fell off. 

Punchinello wanted to be just like Lucia. So he asked her how she prevented the stickers from getting on her. Lucia told Punchinello that the reason is that she goes to visit Eli, the wood carver, everyday. And she told him to go see Eli, too.

Punchinello hesitated. Surely, someone as important as Eli wouldn’t want to see him. But, when he saw the Wemmicks going about their business of sticking stars and dots to one another, he resolved to visit Eli. So, he walked up the narrow path to Eli’s house and went in. There, he found Eli and they had a good conversation. At first, Punchinello tried to defend himself and to apologize to Eli for having so many gray dots. But Eli told him that he doesn’t really care what the other Wemmicks thought.

“You don’t?” Punchinello asked. 

“No, and you shouldn’t either. Who are they to give stars or dots? They’re Wemmicks just like you. What they think doesn’t matter, Punchinello. All that matters is what I think. And I think you are pretty special.”

Punchinello was astounded as to why Eli would think someone like him special. And Eli told him, “Because you’re mine. That’s why you matter to me.” 

Punchinello was touched. He’d never felt this loved – this worthy. And by none other than his maker!

Then he asked Eli about Lucia – why the stickers don’t stay on her.

To which Eli replied, “Because she has decided that what I think is more important than what they think. The stickers only stick if you let them.” The stickers only stay on a Wemmick if it matters to them. If they learn to trust in Eli’s love and decide that what the other Wemmicks think doesn’t matter, then the stickers won’t stay.

Eli asked Punchinello to come see him everyday, so he can always remind him of how much he cares. Eli further reminded Punchinello that he is special because he made him. And Eli never makes mistakes. 

As Punchinello walked home, pondering over the meeting, he felt in his heart that Eli meant everything that he said. And a dot fell to the ground.

Did the story hit home? I have loved this story since the first time I read it in an email, back when I was eighteen years old. Recently, I came across the book in my class’s mobile library. And I was reminded of the beautiful moral lessons of this story.

Who are the Wemmicks? They’re you and I. Everyone is a Wemmick. We are all created by a sole wood carver, Eli – God. Like the Wemmicks, we all have different physical characteristics, talents, abilities, intellectual capacities. In a society obsessed with beauty and perfection, we are all subjected to praise and/or criticisms everyday. These are the golden stars and the gray dots.

Is it wrong for the Wemmicks to go around sticking stars  and gray dots on each other? Maybe. But can we really stop people from admiring us and/or judging us? Nope. Just like in the story, Eli’s solution for Punchinello’s problem wasn’t to stop all the other Wemmicks from what they were doing. He wasn’t like, “Hey, all you Wemmicks, stop sticking stickers on each other. Mind your own business.” Do you think we’d ever learn anything if God always took away our problems? No. Instead, God helps us overcome – to become stronger, better, to trust Him more.

I have met people who are full of gold stars. Nothing wrong with that. We all want to be admired, emulated, looked up to. Only, we shouldn’t let it get to our heads. People with gold stars sometimes find it hard to be honest with themselves – because they think they’re perfect. After all, you can’t argue with the masses, right? Don’t let the stars blind you. That’s why there are people who are so beautiful on the outside, but have no substance. Or people who are geniuses but lack compassion.

I have also met people who are full of gray dots. People who have been criticized too much, they think nothing they ever say or do is right. Like Punchinello, some try to emulate the gold star people so they can also get stars. Others just hide in their shells, until they’re barely visible. I remember this classmate of mine, back in high school. She was a nice girl, smart, well-behaved. At first, everything was fine. She got good grades, participated in class, had friends. But some time later, she started missing school a lot. I mean, she would be absent for days. Then she’d come back for a while, and then be absent again. Eventually, she stopped coming to school. And this is when we learned the reason for her absences. She felt that some of my classmates were making fun of her and saying nasty things about her behind her back. I can’t really speak for those classmates of mine. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. But what I really hated about this incident was that she let these ‘gray dots’ get to her and she and her education suffered because of it.    

Like Lucia, we shouldn’t let what others ‘stick’ on us define our existence – never let the opinion of others define who you are or what you are. That was what Eli was telling Punchinello. Because they’re all Wemmicks, just like him. Because we’re all human, just like everybody else.

It is only God’s opinion of us that matters. In the end, we will not be asked whether we got gold stars or gray dots… it is how we lived our lives and how the people around us were influenced by the life that we lived.  



Quotes I Live By


I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love,even when there’s no one there. And I believe in God, even when He is silent – Author Unknown

These words were scratched on the walls of a cellar in Cologne, Germany by a Jew hiding from Nazi persecution.

Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory. – Bruce Lee

Sadly, a lot of people today think that in order to gain attention and to get positive feedback from other people is to show off – sometimes in such desperation that they resort to stealing other people’s ideas and identity.

Give with a free hand, but give only your own. – J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Children of Hurin”

Sometimes, we tend to be very generous when it doesn’t have to come out of our own pocket. Say, office supplies. Employees tend to use them excessively or even take them home as “presents” for their friends and family. That’s because we’re not the ones paying for them. But this kind of practice can be counted as stealing. Never mind how small or trivial the items are. If it’s not yours, it’s not really up to you to decide how to spend it.

False hopes are more dangerous than fears. – J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Children of Hurin”

The pain of having your hopes trampled and crushed is worse than the pain of having your fears come true.

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. – Oscar Wilde

We tend to believe that if a person fights hard for something or even dies for it, then it must true, because otherwise, why would that person be so passionate about it? Well, how about just to save face? Or maybe, he just can’t handle the truth – the real truth.

True peace is not the absence of war; it is the presence of God. – Loveless

Amen.

Beyond Happy Endings: Fairy Tales as You Have Never Read Them Before


The inexhaustible “once upon a time” tell-tale has always been a part of our childhood fantasies because of their ability to unlock our imagination and transport us to the enchanting world of fairy tales. No one understood the power of these stories so much as Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, more popularly known as the Grimm Brothers. They enticed the world with their bountiful servings of dashing heroes and heroines, breathtaking magic and enchanted beings. Children, as well as grown-ups all over the world, fondly recall their stories as the sweet, soothing tales that gently wafted them to dreamland. However, the original stories written by the Grimm Brothers in the early 1800’s were anything but sweet and soothing. The authentic tales were often marked by violence and crudity, presenting life as generations of central Europeans have known and experienced it – capricious and often cruel. The two patriots, determined to preserve German folktales, were only accidental entertainers. Once they saw how the tales bewitched young readers, the Grimms, and editors aplenty after them, started “polishing” bits and pieces. Soon, the stories gradually got softer, sweeter, and primly moral, thus giving birth to the retellings that are more well-known to most modern readers.

If the Shoe Fits

The sugar & spice way– When the clock struck twelve, Cinderella suddenly remembered her fairy godmother’s warning and quickly ran away. In her haste, she left one of her glass slippers on the staircase, and it was retrieved by the prince. He then made a decree that only the lady whose foot fits the slipper will be his wife. The glass slipper was brought to Cinderella’s home, and her two stepsisters tried to fit it in, but their feet were either too big or too small. As the palace servant who brought the slipper was leaving, he remembered that there was still one maiden in the house. Cinderella was called forth and when she tried it on, the slipper fit perfectly. So the prince married her and as Cinderella had a kind heart, she forgave her wicked stepmother and stepsisters and invited them to live in the castle, where they all lived happily ever after.

The Grimm way– In lieu of a fairy godmother, Cinderella was able to go to the ball with the help of two pigeons that lived on a magical hazel tree that was planted on top of her mother’s grave. The prince immediately fell in love with Cinderella when he saw her and he danced with her the whole night. When evening came, she wished to leave, and the king’s son was anxious to go with her and see where she lived, but Cinderella quickly ran away from him. As the celebration continued on the second day, Cinderella escaped from the prince again before he could take her home. On the third day, the prince ordered the whole staircase to be smeared with pitch, and when Cinderella ran away for the third time, one of her golden slippers got stuck on it. The prince declared that no one shall be his wife except the maiden whose foot fits the slipper. The prince went to Cinderella’s house and had the first stepsister try it on. But the shoe was too small for her, and she could not get her big toe in it. The stepmother then handed her a knife and told her to cut off her big toe. So the girl cut the toe off, forced the foot in the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went to the prince. The prince took her on his horse as his bride and rode away with her. But the two birds that helped Cinderella called out to him and told him to look at the woman’s bleeding foot. The prince saw the blood and took her home again. Now it was the second stepsister’s turn, but her heel was too big. Her mother also handed her a knife and told her to cut a bit off her heel. The maiden did as her mother had ordered, slipped on the shoe, and painfully went to the prince. He took her on his horse and rode away with her, but as before, the pigeons also called his attention to the blood trickling out of the shoe. The prince turned his horse and also took this false bride home. He then asked the father if he had another daughter, to which the father replied that there is still one, but she is much too dirty to be the maiden he is looking for. But the prince insisted and Cinderella was brought before the prince. She put on the slipper, and it fitted like a glove. So the prince took his true bride on his horse and rode away to the castle. As they passed by the hazel tree, the two pigeons came flying down and placed themselves on Cinderella’s shoulders, one on the right, the other on the left, and remained sitting there. When the wedding with the king’s son was to be celebrated, the two false sisters came and wanted to get on Cinderella’s good side. As the betrothed couple went to the church, the pigeons pecked out the eyes of the stepsisters. They were punished with blindness all their days for their wickedness and falsehood.

Red as Blood, White as Snow

The sugar & spice way– The evil queen was enraged when she found out from the magical looking glass that the huntsman did not kill Snow White. She also found out that the beautiful maiden lived deep in the forest with the seven dwarfs. Thereupon, she went into a secret room where she made a poisonous apple. While it looked temptingly delicious and pretty from the outside, whoever took a bite from it would surely die. When the apple was ready, she disguised herself as an old woman and went to the dwarfs’ little cottage. The seven dwarfs were away at work and only Snow White remained at home. When the queen offered the apple to the girl, she irresistibly took a bite, whereupon she immediately fell dead. When the dwarfs came home and found her lying still, they put her in a glassed coffin and placed it on top of a mountain so they could always be reminded of their dear friend. It so happened that one day, a prince came upon the coffin and saw the beautiful Snow White within it. Finding her so lovely, the prince gave her a magical kiss, which bequeathed life to the princess. Upon waking up and seeing the prince, she too fell in love with him. The prince took her to his palace to be his wife, where they lived happily ever after.

The Grimm way– When Snow White took a bite of the poisonous apple, it got stuck on her throat, so she was not poisoned. However, she chocked from the piece and fainted due to lack of air. The dwarfs tried to revive her, but it was useless. Thereupon, they put her in a glass coffin and placed it on top of a mountain. It happened, however, that a king’s son came into the mountain and saw the glass coffin with Snow White in it. He fell in love with the beautiful maiden and begged the dwarfs to let him have the coffin, for he cannot live without seeing Snow White again. With the approval of the dwarfs, the prince had it carried away by his servants on their shoulders. So it happened that they stumbled over a tree-stump, and with the shock, the poisonous piece of apple that Snow White had bitten off came out of her throat. Before long, she was revived from her deep sleep, and the prince happily asked her to be his wife. Snow White accepted, and a grand wedding was held. But the evil queen was also invited to the wedding and when she saw Snow White as the young bride, she stood still with rage and fear, and could not move. Little did the evil queen know that the people at the palace had another surprise for her. A pair of iron slippers that had already been put upon the fire, were brought in with thongs, and set before her. Then she was forced to put on the red-hot shoes, and dance until she dropped dead.

What’s My Name Again?

The sugar & spice way– When the queen successfully guessed his name, Rumpeltstiltskin was livid. In his rage, he vanished into thin air and was never seen or heard from again.

The Grimm way– “Perhaps your name is Rumpeltstiltskin?” asked the queen. “The devil has told you that! The devil has told you that,” cried the little man. In his anger, he plunged his right foot so deep into the earth that his whole leg went in, and then in his rage, he pulled at his left leg so hard with both hands that he tore himself in two.

Happily Ever After

Despite the numerous fixings and polishing these fairy tales have gone through, they will forever retain the solid heart within their stories. Underneath the sugary coatings or the violence and crudity, they impart one common thing to their readers – the good will always prevail in the end. Perhaps, this is what makes fairy tales so appealing to everyone. Behind our different beliefs and perspectives, we are one in our search for our own happy endings, in this story called life.

The Curious Case of …


“My name is Benjamin Button, and I was born under unusual circumstances. While everyone else was agin’, I was gettin’ younger… all alone.”

Adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this film depicts the life of man who was born in his eighties and ages backwards. Set in New Orleans at the end of World War I in 1918 to the 21st century, this character-driven story takes us on the journey of Benjamin Button’s not-so-ordinary life. From the places he discovers along the way, to the fascinating characters that gave color to his existence, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” shows us that family, friendship, sacrifice, and love can exceed the boundaries of time.

This film was so heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time that by the end of it, I was an emotional wreck. The beautifully written dialogues will simply take your breath away. Powerful performances by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett made the story come alive. It gracefully shows us a love that survives extraordinary circumstances.. and the grave sacrifices people can make for it. Real love transcends sagging skin, wrinkles, graying hair.. it transcends wetting the bed, acne, or acting childish.

Daisy: Would you still love me if I were old and saggy?
Benjamin Button: Would you still love ME if I were young and had acne? When I’m afraid of what’s under the bed? Or if I end up wetting the bed?

It’s not just the man who ages backwards who is unique. Everyone has their own special something that they impart to others. “Along the way you bump into people who make a dent on your life. Some people get struck by lightning. Some are born to sit by a river. Some have an ear for music. Some are artists. Some swim the English Channel. Some know buttons. Some know Shakespeare. Some are mothers. And some people can dance.”


Atonement


Everybody makes mistakes. That’s a fact of life. But what happens when that seemingly “innocent” mistake of yours drastically changes the fate of the people around you and there’s no easy way of making amends? How do you own up to what you’ve done? How do you rebuild the broken relationships? And most importantly, how do you ask forgiveness from the ones you’ve wronged?
One hot summer’s day in 1935, young and impressionable Briony Tallis looks out her bedroom window and witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister Cecilia, and the servant’s son, Robbie Turner. Misgivings and doubts begin to harbor in Briony’s mind, which further escalate and worsen when she reads Robbie’s letter that is intended for Cecilia’s eyes only. Then a terrible crime is committed, and Briony, overflowing with a sense of righteousness and over protectiveness for her sister, testifies and points to Robbie as the perpetrator. This act sets a chain of events that would shatter years of their lives.
Properly entitled “Atonement”, this book takes us mainly through a conscience’s journey to make amends for one mistake that has severed relationships, destroyed a family, and tormented innocent souls.
This book is like a conscience that nags you with two profound questions: How far would you go for atonement? And if you’re the person on the other side of the fence, how much can you forgive?


‘The Hobbit’ is a Must-Read!


“The Hobbit” is J.R.R. Tolkien’s prequel to the famous “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. This book chronicles the life and journey of Bilbo Baggins. It sheds light on why Bilbo went on his infamous journey and how the One Ring eventually came to his possession. Readers get to enjoy Tolkien’s masterful storytelling style, as he weaves you in his magical world of Middle-Earth. From trolls, dwarves, wizards, to dragons, each page will have you breathless with excitement. The story flows in a faster pace as compared to the LOTR trilogy. If you’re someone who’s still unsure how to go about Tolkien’s works, I think this is the best book for you to test the waters. If you enjoy this book, most probably you will also enjoy Tolkien’s other works. If not, then either try again, or maybe you’re just not cut out for Tolkien. Watch out also for the upcoming movie version of “The Hobbit”. I’m sure it will be another superb blockbuster! 🙂


‘The Kite Runner’ Will Blow You Away


When a co-teacher of mine first mentioned the book “The Kite Runner” to me, I wasn’t immediately thrilled with the concept of the book. Being a rather “conservative” reader, I tend to steer clear of books that contain emotionally draining, graphic scenes. But I had no choice, so to speak, but to read this book when it was given to me as a birthday present. And read it I did and so much more. “The Kite Runner” not only opened my eyes to a different world, a different culture, it changed the way I looked at the world around me.
Hauntingly beautiful and sad at the same time, “The Kite Runner” follows the lives of Amir and Hasaan, best friends, brothers, torn apart by the war in Afghanistan and the eventual occupation of the Taliban. It’s a story within a story, as I would like to put it. In the outer shell, we have the situation in Afghanistan providing the dramatic backdrop of the story. In the inner shell, it follows the story of Amir and Hassan, two boys – one born into privilege, the other born into poverty and discrimination – from the time when they were innocent boys playing in the streets of Kabul, to the impact of the devastating war, to their separation, and to their “reunion”. I don’t really want to give away too much of the story, as this is a book that MUST be read, and not merely summarized.
A fellow book lover once asked me, “Maybs, kanino ka mas naawa, kay Amir o kay Hasaan?” (“Maybs, who did you sympathize with more, Amir or Hasaan?”) I answered, “Well, pareho. (Well, both.) In a sense, all both of them ever wanted was to be loved. Remember, in the earlier parts of the book, it was said there that Amir’s first word was ‘Baba’ (meaning, ‘Father’), while Hasaan’s was ‘Amir’. These two words laid the foundation of the events that happened. For me, that pretty much sums up the whole book for me.”
“The Kite Runner” presents a myriad of contemporary issues, but the one thing that struck me in this book is, however different our circumstances might me, whatever culture we grew up in, there is one thing we all have in common – and that is, the desire to be loved and accepted.


‘The Life of Pi’ Made Me Cry


After a devastating shipwreck of a cargo ship, only one lifeboat comes out of the fiasco. This lifeboat contains a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra with a broken leg, a female orangutan, and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. Along with the unusual characters in this book, Yann Martel offers a multitude of surprising events in the course of Pi’s efforts to survive and be rescued. Just when you think the surprises have ended, Life of Pi will serve up something totally unexpected that will make your jaw drop, literally. This work of art offers a magnificent mixture of story telling, drama, comedy, survival tips, insights on religion and spirituality, and animal welfare — all rolled up in a little lifeboat bobbing helplessly in the middle of the wild, blue Pacific.


The Lord of the Rings Trilogy


It has often been my (and many other people’s) observation that the book (or, in this case, books) is often way better than the movie(s). This observation also holds true for the LOTR trilogy. Which is my way of saying that I don’t have enough words to describe the beauty, marvel, and impact of the LOTR books. While the LOTR movies have given fantasy a whole new realm, with its astonishing portrayal of Tolkien’s amazing Middle Earth, you will surely appreciate the movies more if you read the books. The trilogy books will give you a lot more meaning and insights into the world of Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, Men, etc., that the movies (more than three hours long each) were not able to fully give to the audience. Also included in the books are characters not seen in the movies, as well as an epilogue that chronicles the fate of the characters after the Ring was destroyed and Aragorn reigned as king. Questions like: “Whatever happened to our beloved Legolas?” “Did Arwen and Aragorn have children?” “What happened to the other hobbits: Merry, Pippin, and Sam?” “Did Faramir and Eowyn end up together?”, and many more, will all be answered. But, hey, don’t take my word for it. Pick up a copy and sit back, relax, and enjoy three of the greatest books of all time. 🙂