Friday, July 3, 2009
Heaven on Earth
1. The company of cherished loved ones
2. Peaceful, beautiful surroundings with good weather
3. Simple, home-cooked, country fare (today for lunch, a salmon terrine with a salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots, then home-made sorbets from fruit growing in the garden; for goûter, some chocolate and French bread...)
4. A relaxed pace
5. A great book to read (see below)
The Help by Kathryn Stockett is one of THE BEST BOOKS I have EVER read (I haven't quite finished it yet, but part of me doesn't want to - I just want it to go on). I have not felt this excited about a book since Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer. This is Stockett's debut novel, and it is an absolute tour de force - amazing characterizations, gripping story, compelling themes, marvelous voice. HOW DID SHE DO THAT?! I say to myself every few pages. I cannot put it down.
The book is about three women in the 1960's in Jackson, Mississippi - two African-American housekeepers and one young white woman who longs to be a writer and wants to write about them. It's also about stories and storytelling, truth and lies, having a voice and keeping silence and secrets, writing and how it transformers both writer and reader, and the true meaning of dignity and significance. Don't miss it!