Sunday, March 21, 2010
52 Books in 52 Weeks: Echoes
Oh, Maeve Binchy. *Almost* everything I read by her makes me swoon. If God gives me another little girl ever, may I name her Maeve. I LOVE her writing.
Echoes didn't disappoint. It was a little slow-going in the beginning, but didn't take long at all until I was falling in love with the characters. Especially the main character Clare. (There's a little trivia for you - we allllmost used Clare as Caris' middle name but went for Colleen instead, after my Mom and sister.)
Here's what I really love in a book:
Writing that makes me FEEL. I like to laugh, cry, hurt, enjoy - I like to be really involved and invested in what I'm reading. Maeve Binchy has a gift for making you feel as though you know her characters personally, so you really do care about what's going on in their lives.
I like to feel like what I'm reading is real. Not real like a documentary or a biography, but not contrived is what I'm saying. I like for situations and feelings amongst the characters to develop in a believable way.
It's awesome when the pace and length of the book are perfect. Echoes is not a tiny short book, but it's not exceedingly long, either. When I noticed that I was moving back in the book and had only about 20 pages left I started to despair. Oh no! The book's almost over! Two days out from finishing the book, I can say I'm glad she left off where she did. Right when I finished I was a little angry with her. ;-)
I expect good writing. I expect to read something I feel impressed and awed by. I want the author to know things I don't. In other words, I like to enter into someone else's world and think - oh, that's a cute saying! Or wow, how did she know that?? Maeve Binchy lives in a different culture than I do so part of this is easy for her but part of it is just that she's a dang good writer.
I like to identify with the characters. I don't know if everyone would feel this way, but I just loved Clare. I wanted to be a little more like her. I wanted to speak more like she did, know just what to say and how to handle life's irritations. As I read, I prayed that I'd become a person with more grace and fortitude.
I like a book to affect me! It's great fun once in a while to just plain read a silly little book, but it's wonderful to read something that changes who I am in a slight way, even if just in the way I perceive something.
. . . off to see what I haven't yet read by Maeve Binchy and get my hands on it!
I'm working on Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and oh, it's labor compared to Maeve Binchy. GIVE ME THE BINCHY.