Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Really Wonderful Book

I don't know if you know this about me...but I like to read.  A lot.  I read a lot of good books.  Only occasionally do I read a book that's just "eh."  I can appreciate a lot of different types and styles of writing, even if they're not really amazing pieces of writing.  Usually I just appreciate the diversion from my life that a book can create.

So, when I read something amazing, I find myself in awe.

Last night I finished reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  Amazing.  I've been meaning to read it for a while now and was finally able to borrow a digital copy from the library.  What a beautifully written story.  Everything from the setting to the characters to the plot to the use of historical events was so beautifully done that it leaves me feeling overwhelmed and just a teeny bit jealous.

If you haven't read the book, it's sort of a coming of age story of four girls that starts when their minister father moves the family to the Congo on a Missions trip for what was supposed to be a year.  Their lives are impacted permanently by the things they learn and experience in Africa, whether it was directly affecting them, like drought, starvation and malaria, or merely taking place around them, like the Congo's fight for independence and then the uprising of a powerful and greedy dictator.  It's a very beautiful and powerful story. 

It happens occasionally that I find books that deserve to sit upon pedestals above the other books I read.  There's a difference between people that write and people that write.  It's perhaps why I have such a hard time writing.  I've read so many books that I can see the difference between writing and writing.  And I don't want to write something.  I want to write something.  Something beautiful.  That's why books like The Poisonwood Bible leave me feeling awestruck and a little jealous.  And maybe just a bit inspired....

But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after-oh, that's love by a different name.  She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she's gone to sleep.  If you put her down in the crib, she might wake up changed and fly away.  So instead you rock by the window, drinking in the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams.  Your heart bays to the double crescent moons of closed lashes on her cheeks.  She's the one you can't put down.
My baby, my blood, my honest truth; entreat me not to leave thee, for whither thou goest I will go.  Where I lodge, we lodge together.  Where I die, you'll be buried at last.
-Kingsolver, Book Five Ch. One

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