“Accidents of fate are rarely fatal accidents, but once in a while they are.”
In The Image is one of those books that evolves through the characters’ coming of age, journeying towards peace and acceptance, and sojourning towards spiritual identity. One young girl (Leora)l learns to accept the death of her best friend, through the slide images of her best friend’s grandfather. Leora learns to overcome her fear of loss and allows herself to fall in love.
The grandfather (Bill Landsmann) learns to accept his own life, which is built frame by frame, upon his slides, through the images he has photographed during his travels. His life has been preserved on film slides. Landsmann has to learn to leave his past behind, including his childhood and his abusive father. He must learn to accept, and to let go, and not just assimilate within the fabrics of New York City. For him the images represent his life, concrete proof of his childhood in Europe, and proof he existed. Landsmann has to learn to move forward, in order to find the spiritual identity and peace he is searching for.
Leora and Landsmann lean on each other, each one helping the other to overcome their fears, each one helping to free the other from their self-imposed emotional isolation.
The symbolism and undertones in this novel are strong, and leave one in awe. The images are clearly defined through Dara Horn’s words. Age is a state of mind, a number we define ourselves with, but one can be 70 and still be coming of age. This book touches on coming of age, for all age groups.