Reading is a very solitary hobby. The words are only heard in the mind as our brain starts building images around the scenery and characters. Have you ever read a book which compelled you to start reading out loud because it was so moving you felt you couldn’t keep the words inside?! Probably not.
This is an unusual book review, seeing as I’m not just sharing the book but pimpin the author. I’ve read thousandsssss of hours in my life. I also have this weird aversion to watching anything i’ve seen a second time or reading a book I’ve already read a second time. Once I’ve seen or read or heard, movin on… I know, it’s a shame; we often pick up missed bits and learn more the second go’round. (in all aspects of life) BUT, here’s the but…
There is one author which writes like no other, Barbara Kingsolver. And she has one book, which still to this day (published in 98), after hundreds of books since, if i were stranded on an island with one book to reread ad nauseum it would be The Poisonwood Bible. But, here’s another but, I’m not even writing this post to talk about that book. Lol…I just finished her most current seller Flight Behavior. You see, in another life she worked as a scientist with a degree in biology, before writing. This book is based off a true situation involving the unusual migratory occurrence of monarch butterflies. The story centers around a young mother in trailer park poor family, which herd and sheer sheep. One of those unrealized potential stories, unwanted pregnancy, shot-gun wedding, finds herself looking out into the big world from the rural poverty ensconced reality. The news media and a scientist land on her doorstep, making her the, and bringing her to the, center of it all; all over her head: the ecology, the spiritual debate, the questions of global warming. Inevitably she finds herself and spreads her wings, metaphorically like the butterflies. Even though my description makes it seem formulaic, it really isn’t. The writing is too rich, the internal dialogue of the character is too deep. I did keep it to myself though. Dis-similar to my experience with The Poisonwood Bible, in which i would try and read out loud to nothing, as if I were reciting play lines, only to realize how ridiculous i was seeming in my solitude; I was moved.
A bit of the narrator’s reflection while shopping in the $1 store for her kids Christmas gifts, ‘Realistically, it probably wasn’t slave children, but there had to be factory workers making this slapdash stuff, underpaid people cranking out things for underpaid people to buy and use up, living their lives mostly to cancel each other out. A worldwide entrapment of bottom feeders.’ Every bit of her writing is this great.
I just came across an interview with the famous food writer/critic Ruth Reichl. In it she states how she wishes Barbara Kingsolver would share a great food experience. Because a writer like her could do the act of eating, and the description of any food item the proper justice.