I finished reading Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, two weeks ago, but wanted to think about it awhile before writing about it. It’s the kind of book that stays with you, the story powerful and haunting, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that in reading it I have been exposed to greatness. And I understand now why my husband has so much respect for this book, his copy well-worn by many re-readings. I will need to reread it, too, partly because I know I didn’t understand everything, but also because the writing is so beautiful. It is incredible that Conrad didn’t learn to speak English until he was in his twenties … and then was able to use the language so brilliantly. This is a book I’ve shied away from for years, thinking it would be too depressing. I’m glad I’ve finally read it, at an age when I can truly appreciate it for the brilliant writing and for its profound truths.