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I have been gobbling novels like peanut butter popcorn since moving into a less-structured schedule these last couple months. Recently read: A Map of the World ~ Jane Hamilton; Jewel ~ Brett Lott; Friendswood ~ Rene Steinke; Noah’s Compass ~ Anne Tyler. Good reads, all, with strengths and weaknesses, of course. Here are three quotations and why I wrote them in my journal:
- Jewel captures a certain marital dynamic well, I think, when she describes this exchange between her and her husband:
… I took the gesture for what it meant…he knew all about what was going on inside me, thirty-six years of marriage to me giving him enough indications as to how I worked. And I was working now,…I gave him a gesture of my own…I smiled at him, my lips never parting, just turning up at the corners, and I nodded once, stared hard right back at him. This battle has begun, I signaled him.
2. The experience of an earnest, praying-for-prosperity, self-righteous religious guy upon not getting what he thought God would surely grant him. From Steinke’s strong, startling novel Friendsville:
He looked up through the windshield at the clouds, clotted and dull, listless up there near heaven. He’d reached the end, and God wasn’t there.
Not at all the same but related—hmm, maybe opposite—are John’s thoughts in response to Jessie observing how weird it is that he brings God in to daily life so much when he’s having major doubts about God’s existence. From my novel manuscript, Beyond the Gate, John says:
“Aha. That’s the most important time. We’re the ones in the most danger, the devoted ones, so earnest and active, praying all the time, because belief is everything, it’s our life, so if it goes, each day would be hell for me.”
3. As a retiree, I connect to this line from Tyler’s novel:
Liam’s rocking chair, where he had so fondly imagined himself whiling away his old age, was not really all that comfortable.
Do you resonate with any of these quotations? What are y’all reading?