What luck! The hotel lobby is nearly empty this morning, and there are plenty of big overstuffed chairs, conveniently gathered in a cozy circle around the fireplace. Although we hardly need a fire this morning, since the sun is shining, setting the Grand River alight with sparkles. At long last, it seems spring is arriving here in Michigan. Complementary coffee awaits, and it is very good. Help yourself, and welcome to the Sunday Salon.
I’m playing the groupie today, traveling to the west side of the state along with my husband and Measure for Measure, the men’s chorus he sings with. There are a group of wives who have tagged along on this trip, and while the men have set off to prepare for the church service where they will participate later this morning, the women have been left behind, and will be bussed into the city later on.
How nice for me – some extra time to read. (smile)
It’s been a very satisfying reading week~I finished The Blue Star, by Tony Earley, and enjoyed it immensely. Some of you may remember Earley’s first novel, Jim the Boy, which was a bit of a sleeper hit about five years ago. In it, he tells the story of young Jim Glass, and his childhood in the small town of Aliceville, North Carolina, back in the 1930’s. The Blue Star takes us back to Aliceville, and Jim, who is a senior in high school on the eve of World War II. There is an air of poignant reflection to this book, as we all know the times are a-changin’, and life in this small town will probably never be the same.
I find it interesting the way books about small town life in the past become such favorites – I’m thinking of Jan Karon’s Mitford series, which is another in this vein. Perhaps we all yearn for that simple life again, a lifestyle where the world moves more simply, where people interact and care for one another in a very fundamental way.
When I (reluctantly) closed the cover on The Blue Star, it was with more than a hint of sadness, as if saying goodbye to some new/old friends.
And so I set off to my stack in search of just the right book to bring along this weekend, knowing that most of my reading would be done in fits and starts, whenever I could grab a few moments.
I settled on The Senator’s Wife, Sue Miller’s latest novel, which I must admit, has garnered some mixed reviews. “By the end of that book, I was just so mad at everyone of those characters,” my friend Barbara told me last week.
Hmm. I remember experiencing that same feeling last month, when I re-read Miller’s The Good Mother.
I’m only about 50 pages into The Senator’s Wife (reading time has been more limited than I even anticipated), but so far the novel has grabbed my attention, with Miller’s characteristic ability to define her characters and their inner dilemmas so well.
I listened to an interview with Sue Miller earlier this week, and she talked about the ways she investigates the power of change in her writing – the individuals ability (or lack therof) to change their lives or their personalities, and the necessity to come to terms with what cannot be changed. So I’ll be keeping that in mind as I read The Senator’s Wife.
Oh, I’m sensing some activity around the doors, as the other wives arrive to board the bus. I’d best gather my things, perhaps pour another sip of coffee for the road, and join them.
Have a lovely Sunday, all of you…I’ll drop in later and see what you’ve been up to.