(Non Dog Related)
I'm stepping out of my dog writer shoes for a moment and sliding on my fluffy book reader slippers. I must share this with you.
"This" is a novel that I just finished reading. I've been reading a lot of 'first' novels and classic novels. The book before last was To Kill A Mockingbird, which was both. I've heard everywhere and back again that writers should read good writing. I read the 'first' novels to give me hope.
I got a recommendation for a book on Barry's most excellent blog, An Explorer's View of Life. Seems the author was one of his blog friends/followers. I checked out her blog, and I loved her voice. So I followed the links and ordered her book.
My copy of Tender Graces, by Kathryn Magendie, arrived in the mail. It is published by BelleBooks, Inc., which I assume is a smallish press out of Smyrna, Georgia. I had to finish two library books which were due back. I made the mistake of reading the first chapter of Tender Graces. Library books, shmibrary books. I was hooked.
I raced through Tender Graces, not the way you would gulp down a big juicy hamburger after a couple days without food. More the way you would attend to a fresh-steamed Maine lobster, wanting to savor every bite while the butter was still hot and the shell burned your fingers a little. Everything else could wait.
That I had only recently re-read To Kill A Mockingbird is one of those inexplicable Gifts of the Universe. That book, (okay, along with Gregory Peck), holds a very dear place in my heart. Harper Lee is one of the best writers in my world. And I read Tender Graces thinking, Wow. She's that good a writer. This book is To Kill a Mockingbird good. And I was right.
Now I have to wait until the next in the series comes out. The rest of you can use the links and get your own copies. Don't bother with the blurbs - they don't do the storytelling justice. Here's a blurb: It's the story of a girl and a mountain and whispers in the wind. Of riding fast on an imaginary horse and parents who drink and make hornets buzz in a little girl's head. It's about kindness and flaws and doing better. Hot Louisiana summers and brothers who are gone and there and gone. It is simply a great read, beautifully written.