Why Read?

February — surely the freaking longest month of the year in Vermont.

Unable to endure the unremittingness of winter, I’ve taken over the couch with my laptop and Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive. Unableto tell my friends and library patrons about this book — as then I might be forced to hurry, hurry and read, read, to pass this novel along — I’m sunk down deep in this story. What to love? The book is the American road trip (and I’m a sucker for road trip stories, a veteran of innumerable mishaps along my own blue highway adventures), told by a mother who understands the importance of buying coffee for grownups and cookies for the kids, of unrequited lust, of a marriage bending, of the thrust of creative work, of how all those pieces fit and don’t fit together.

I slept on this couch for over a year after my husband left, unable to sleep in our former bed, the room we built with the balcony and double glass doors, the windows on three sides, the moon rising over my prolific garden. The couch, I discovered, was enormously comfortable, and the (former) marriage bed a possible remnant from the Middle Ages.

I purchased this book with library funds, with actual property tax dollars from the taxpayers in Woodbury, many of whom I know. When I’m finished with the novel, I’ll pass it along, happy to hand it over to my reading friends. But in the meantime, I spy many February days on the calendar remaining. I’m in no particular rush to finish. The brighter and warmer days of spring are most likely an illusion — and I’m hoping for a breathtaking ending to this novel…..

But the sea
which no one tends
is also a garden…

William Carlos Williams



3 thoughts on “Why Read?

  1. I hear you, sister! I just finished reading The Fortune Teller by Gwendolyn Womack (excellent read). I, too, have been daydreaming–thinking of the newborn lambs and the green fields of western Sonoma County this time of year.

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