This ravenous reader has been notably absent from the stacks of late, and I apologize to any of you who may have stopped in, hoping some morsel of bookish wisdom was being passed round on a silver tray along with a cup of herbal tea and some ginger cookies.
In truth, my reading life has taken a backseat to my recreational life these past few days, which I’ve been lucky enough to spend in Scottsdale, Arizona with my husband and two of our closest friends. So a miniature bookstack went into my suitcase, and a small paperback was chosen to travel on the plane with me. Although I picked it mostly for its ability to fit neatly into my carry-on tote bag, it turned out to be quite an engrossing companion, nicely diverting my attention from the longish plane ride late Tuesday evening.
Places in the Dark, by Thomas Cook, was a compelling psychological mystery set in a small town in coastal Maine, its events turning around a strange young woman whose emotional (and physical) scars capture the hearts of two brothers, with disastrous results for both. Cook’s writing was just as dark and ominous as Dora March herself, and urged me to keep reading in hopes that Dora’s secrets would be soon be revealed.
But I finished that book not long after arriving, so I’ve delved into the stack and drawn out another old favorite to reread- The Good Mother, by Sue Miller. (Thank you, Litlove, for reminding me of this one.) I’m now becoming reacquainted with Anna, a divorcee, and young mother, as she attempts to create a fulfilling life for herself as a single mother. A custody battle is about to ensue, and I’m not looking forward to the nasty things that will happen, but happen they must in order to this story to come to its inevitable conclusion. For no matter how much the reader might wish, the ending never changes, no matter how many times we read the book.
Lately, I’ve been in a re-reading mood – what with Men and Angels, and now The Good Mother. Does it ever happen to you that someone mentions a book you read long ago and you immediately feel a craving for that book once again, an opportunity to revisit those characters and see how they’ve fared in your absence, thinking perhaps this time you might be able to save them from some of their most terrible mistakes, secretly hoping they might have some newfound insight or words of wisdom you missed on the first go-round?
There’s something comforting about re-reading, particularly if its been quite a long time since your last meeting. You have some vague notion about what’s coming in the story, but it’s just amorphous enough to keep you from being bored. So you continue along a familiar path until at last – aha! oh yes! – the moment of awareness dawns -of course that’s what happened! how could I have forgotten?
Now tell me, what was the last book you re-read? And which are you more likely to do, re-read a book, or re-view a movie?