Get lost in Space
Another weekend of travel is a wonderful thing. Not only did I get to visit with family, I also got 10 hours of reading time in the car and a page of recommendations from my mom and sisters.
Talk about a win-win.
Some of those hours were spent with "The Space Between Before and After" (ISBN 9780061452185) by Jean Reynolds Page.
A rare book that exceeded the expectations I'd formed based on reading the jacket.
I've not read any of Page's books before (I plan to now), but I imagine she's very popular with book clubs.
In my imaginary book club, participants discuss not just the writing of the book but also weigh in on the actions of the characters and discuss their choices as if they were real people. But maybe that's just me.
So, in any case, the characters in Space are ripe for evaluation.
At the heart of the story in Holli Templeton, a divorced mom whose son has dropped out of college to move back to her native Texas with his chronically ill girlfriend. When she goes to check on him and her aging grandmother, issues surrounding her mother's death and father's remarriage surface.
Every relationship is called into question. Secrets are revealed, and the reader wonders how much would have been different for everyone if those secrets had never been held?
As Holli herself wonders, "What would I have done if my desire and love had been split between two different beings? Even understanding didn't bring any fuller forgiveness. I just knew that I was lucky. My passions never destroyed the people I loved. I never had to answer to whether or not they would have, if circumstances had been different."
What would you do?
There's lots to think about.
But what I found so intriguing was in the author's insights, extras and more.
The author has included a soundtrack for the characters. Songs she said inspired her creations.
For Holli she lists The Beatles' "The Long and Winding Road," James Taylor's "You can Close Your Eyes," Sheryl Crow's "Strong Enough" and R.E.M.'s "The Great Beyond."
Got me to thinking about soundtracks for other novels.
For example, one of my all-time favs, "Rebecca:"
For Mrs deWinter: Norah Jones' "One Flight Down." This song has always made me think of someone admitting to themselves that they've known something all along, much like I imagine she had doubts about Maxim.
For Maxim: "I Started Something" by the Smiths. Its upbeat rhythms remind me of his polish, and its pretty depressing lyrics evoke his guilt.
And for Mrs. Danvers: ELO's "Evil Woman." Need I say more.
- Tricia Ambrose