As she sank to her knees on the grass and sobbed, the memory of a conversation with Frank floated into her awareness.
But how? How can you just get over these things, darling? she’d asked him. You’ve had so much strife, but you’re always happy. How do you do it?
I choose to, he said. I can leave myself to rot in the past, spend my time hating people for what happened, like my father did, or I can forgive and forget.
But it’s not that easy.
He smiled that Frank smile. Oh but my treasure. It is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, everyday. You have to keep remembering all the bad things.
He laughed, pretending to wipe sweat from his brow.
I would have to make a list—a very, very long list—and make sure that I hated the people on it the right amount. That I did a very proper job of hating, too. Very Teutonic. No.
His voice became sober.
We always have a choice. All of us.
from The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman
(Yes, another debut novel.)