Saturday, August 2, 2008

Halfway

It's the halfway point of summer. Why can't it stay forever? Why can't the flowers always stay in bloom? Why can't my pets live forever? Why can't my kids go from being cute, controllable kids to happy and responsible adults without the chaos of teenagehood? Why, oh why?

On another note... At a recent trip to the library (and I prefer bookstores so I can read a book at my speed, which often involves getting distracted by other books) I came across a book by Gayle Friesen called Men of Stone. I own a more recent book by her, The Isabel Factor, which I really enjoyed because of its wonderful depth of character development. Men of Stone was published back in 2000. It caught my attention because it connects with the Stalin years in Russia and since my upcoming book is about those years, I was intrigued.

Men of Stone is not historical fiction. It's a story set in the present and connects to the past through an old woman's memories. I loved the way the author was able to do this. It's very different from what I did - setting my story completely in those Stalin years. What I really loved was how the characters were not black and white. Even the guard from the prison camp was shown to have some kindness in him. I tried to do this in my book - to have kindness in unexpected places. I think that's what confuses us all - and yet it's what makes life so interesting and livable and it's what gives us all hope. I also liked how she used the various pairs of eyes in the book to give depth to the characters.

By page 212, I was blinking back the tears. Good book.

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