Forgotten Books

March 24, 2010

Dear Blue,

I haven’t had as much chance to use you lately. I’ve been reading by the televised glow of NCAA March Madness at night instead (Go Buckeyes!). Perhaps you’ve enjoyed the break, curled up into your little coil on the nightstand next to my box of brightly colored fingernail polishes and the crumbs of my preztels. No? Well, let me update you on what you’ve missed. I’ve begun reading a new book-The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I’m not sure what to make of it yet. It is the story of two main characters: Nell and Cassandra. Nell is Cassandra’s grandmother, but the story shifts and twists to reveal both characters at different ages. When we first meet Nell, she is 4 and alone on a boat to Australia. The family at the dock adopts her and her father reveals that secret to her on her 18th birthday. Nell’s sense of identify and self unravels in the face of that revelation. Nell travels back to the place of her origin to find her roots and, I’m guessing here, to restore her identity. Cassandra’s mother abandoned her with Nell when Cassandra was 8. Cassandra’s story is of finding out about her grandmother’s search for identity after her death.

That’s all I know so far. I am enjoying the issues about family and identity that this story is posing, but I’m just not absolutely hooked yet. Morton’s writing is really beautiful though-last night I read a section about 8-year-old Cassandra exploring her grandmother’s basement on a sweltering summer day and it was rivieting in how true it rang to my own memory of being a sweaty, bored 8-year-old girl. I was impressed enough by those few pages to keep reading further.

Also outside of your sphere of light, I recently picked up an audiobook of Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary, as read by Stockard Channing. My aunt recommended it for the girls and I picked it up so that Eve could listen to it at night before bed. Trouble is, I’m hesitant to relinquish it. I’ve been listening to it in the car and really enjoying the memories that Ramona evokes. I loved all the Ramona books and reliving them has been so enjoyable. I’ll be on to disc 2 in a day or so and then I can pass disc 1 along to Eve. I’m hoping she likes them too. I always loved that Ramona named her doll Chevrolet. That always stuck with me. She was the original Fancy Nancy in some ways…

I’ve got two terribly interesting looking books waiting for my time on your nightstand, Blue. Little Bee by Chris Cleaves and Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. The GoodReads synopsis of Little Bee says virtually nothing, so as to avoid spoiling it. How mysterious…I’ve waited a while for them and they are on the reserve list at the library so I won’t be able to renew them. I’ve got to get cracking on them soon. So I’m hoping to make some head way with Morton’s Garden this upcoming weekend. Don’t be jealous. Soon, Little Blue, you’ll be following along again…

Until then,

Amy

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