Invisible Life: A Book Review
The story revolves around Raymond Winston Tyler Jr., a lawyer from Alabama. He is popular and had a perfect life. He dated Sela, the only black popular cheerleader in the campus. One day, he met the star footballer in the campus – Kelvin Ellis who is adventurous. He admitted to Raymond that he is bisexual. One kiss and further intimacy changes it all for Raymond. During his struggles, his friends JJ and Kyle were beside him. Another man popped in Raymond’s life – Quinn Mathis whom he had sexual and indoor relation. As time goes, Raymond discovered that Quinn was already married by seeing a wedding ring in the bed. Nicole Springer became Raymond’s lover during his turmoil. They began seeing each other and making Quinn a less priority. Along with his personal struggles, Raymond also clashed with his father because of his sexuality. At the end, Raymond reconciled with his friends and family especially to his father.
The book’s overall theme is about the social stigma on AIDS and homosexuality. This novel also showed the family ties and embedded moral values that we can learn from the story. We can observe that Raymond has a very fickle-minded attitude. He doesn’t know clearly what he wants and what he needs to do. Kelvin on the other hand is very persuasive yet a very strong character. He knows clearly his path and knows how to control the situation. Between these two characters, I felt that Kelvin is a more commendable character. Overall, we can see the struggles and hardships of Raymond translated to the social issues of today. Raymond represents the American youth finding their way to a perfect world. Kelvin on the other hand, represents the third world country people as they may have a lot of problems but they can easily resolve it through their mental thinking and perseverance. Invisible life means having a life without a purpose and it clearly is directed to Raymond as he himself doesn’t have a clear pathway on his life in the story. He doesn’t have a clear mindset on what he really likes and how he can show it to others. Self-confidence is very vital in facing hurdles in life. Raymond lacked self-confidence which leads to unsuccessful relationships. The lesson that this novel wants to inform the readers is that we need to recognize our self worth. By knowing our worth in the society, it will be easier for us to face the challenges ahead of us. It is necessary for us to open with our family and friends as they will always be supportive of our decisions no matter what. At first, it may seem challenging and confusing for them to understand but at the end of the day, blood will always be thicker than water. Having the right dose of confidence to face social issues is also important with the necessary support from our peers and loved ones. The moment we stepped out of our comfort zone and reveal our true selves to other people give us assurance that we can face any problems in the real world. In order for us to gain self-confidence, we need to prepare first for our journey. After we identify our strengths and weaknesses, we are now ready to take the next important step: to set our goals. We need to have a clear mindset of what we really want to do and achieve in life. Once we achieve those two steps correctly, we can now fast track our way to a happier and successful life without any fear or struggles in mind.