Friday, February 8, 2008


I would like to start off this book review with much thanks to A.J. I have no idea who you are but you left your name (which I have not used in full) scribbled on a torn piece of paper in blue ink your name and word conspirtor (slightly misspelled, that's okay) between pages 150 and 151 of the book Lost by Gregory Maguire. Yes,I have a copy of the note. I left the original in
the book.Scanners are wonderful inventions. No, I won't tell anyone what your real name is and it will remain a secret. Mine. And yours.

That little bit of business out of the way, I truly love Gregory Maguire's books. I have read Wicked, Son of a Witch, Mirror, Mirror, and now Lost. Thank Goddess for libraries or I would be broke buying books like Li Qingzhao.

Yes, it is difficult to say which book I enjoyed the most. Of the four that I have read, Wicked, Lost, and Son of a Witch are the strongest. Mirror, Mirror is emotionally flat. The book is too studied and self conscious of its word play. The three I enjoyed are rich in word texture and emotion. I felt deep sadness at the death of Elfie in Wicked. Son of A Witch was effective because there was her absence throughout the novel.

Lost was spotty in its narrative flow. There wasn't consistent thread in the story to recommend it as one of Maguire's best.
While there was the bumpy flow to the tale, Lost was still have-to-turn-another-page-just-to- see-what-happens-book. It was also a bit eerie to read. I was reading Lost and come to a passage about a family that had lost children in a fire. The fictional family had hired an adoption agency to soothe their loss of two children. I also had read, at the time, an article in the Vancouver Sun about a family that was using IVF to soothe their loss of children in a house fire. The coincidence was creepy and strange. However, I am not surprised to have the synchronization. There have been many times when I have thought of a relative (not always with loving emotions) and the relative has telephoned. I have had strong premonitions about people that have come close to the mark. I half, and only half, joke that it is the witch blood from my father's genealogy that creates the odd happenings I have found in my life.

Yes, of course, I'm rational while I write this blog. The soughing of the British Columbia wind has not got my senses, yet. Tomorrow will be dedicated to the grind after a pleasant literary holiday with Mr Maguire. Hélas, it is back to schlepping for hire work while trying to write the somewhat readable Canadian novel. 'Til then...

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To drift with every passion till my soul
Is a stringed lute on which can winds can play,
Is it for this that I have given away
Mine ancient wisdom and austere control?
Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll
Scrawled over on some boyish holiday

With idle songs for pipe and virelay,
Which do but mar the secret of the whole.
Surely there was a time I might have trod
The sunlit heights, and from life's dissonance
Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God:

Is that time dead? lo! with a little rod
I did but touch the honey of romance -
And must I lose a soul's inheritance?

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