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Thursday, May 3, 2007

the solace of leaving early.

{warning - no pictures and lots of words!}

just finished it while Sara had her tennis lesson...and loved it. Wanted to share a few thoughts on the book while they were fresh.

First - it's by Haven Kimmel - she also wrote A Girl Named Zippy, which we read in bookclub in the fall of 2002. And we loved it. Kind of quirky, but real enough that we could relate.

So when I saw this book, I knew I wanted to read it. And Katie gave it to me for Christmas.

I was hooked from the prologue:

...they looked like two little clouds, darkened before the coming storm...

Little girls is all they were.

Definitely promised something good.

And it did, but it took me a while to get it. Along the way, I marked a few cultural references that I need to explore. Honestly, I mostly don't like it when I don't get the reference, but with this book, there were so many, I finally gave into it and started marking everything I didn't get. I had a long list:

*Emily Dickinson - understanding the metaphorical relationship between women and dogs (this was the first one - on page 41 - I haven't read much, maybe any?, Emily Dickenson...)
*Mrs. Dalloway (I know I know this one...)
*Other authors - Paul Tillich, A.S. Bryant, Margaret Drabble, Francine Prose, Shirley Jackson, E.M. Cioran
*John Donne
*Art - Carravaggio's Deposition and daVinci's Annunciation (I know I don't know much about art)
*Music - Schubert's trio in E flat, opus 100

looking forward to the research and hopefully finding some new things to love.

There was also a lot of beauty in the ideas and words. A few of my favorites:

Three times tonight I've heard, out of the blue, a little piece of Brahms's lullaby over the intercom. What does that mean? Is it a code of some kind? ... Sort of. We play it every time a baby is born. New moon. Busy night. (aaawwww....loved this!)
She tried to imagine the world, even just one square mile of it, from the point of view of God - the appearances and vanishings, the abandoned objects, doors left open in haste - how it must look over centuries...
...we're bound to lose our parents - we may even lose our children - but we should get to keep our siblings to the end, and they got to keep each other. (siblings are a big part of the story - losing them, loving them, and how they shape the people we become... I hadn't thought about those relationships as much in my adult life, but I need to!)

...bottom line - highly recommended... and if you're like me, bear through the first 100 pages. It gets so good it's hard to put down!

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