Carolyn and I share a lot of books and we've discovered that certain books we both adore and many of our DNF's are the other's pleasure.
In other words, we have different tastes.
Because we're different people.
And even if we shared the exact same lives and experiences, we'd still be different people with a different perspective on things. Which is good.
Experience and how we process it, taints everything we do and how we live it.
I cannot read child abuse because I lived it and it left such a deep scar that my experience doesn't allow any open doors regarding it. If a child is hurt in a book, usually I'll stop readng. I almost couldn't read Lisa Kleypas' Christmas in Friday Harbor because it begins with a young girl losing her mother and her pain takes her voice away. That hurt me deeply and almost ended the book for me.
Right now I'm reading a book that I'm enjoying a lot and the heroine reacted to a situation in a way that I thought was ridiculous. But a part of me recognized that I wouldn't react that way to something but it didn't mean that someone else wouldn't.
I also realize that when someone experiences something I also did but has a different reaction to it, it doesn't negate mine nor does mine negate hers.
Anyway, this is all in response to some of the tiresome criticism I've read recently where books are dismissed because the author wrote an experence or life event that didn't match the reviewers. I mean, seriously?
A TSTL heroine is just that. But a woman who loses a child might wallow in sorrow for the rest of her life. Or she might get up the next day and just get on with it. She might become an advocate against guns or disease or whatever took her child away. She might have another child immediately.
People are different. Isn't that one of the reasons we read? To experience life through someone else's eyes?