A few weeks ago I read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I loved every page of it, and was fully absorbed right from the beginning. That hadn't happened in a long time. The day I finished it I found out my dear friend Kira Lynn Cain was moving away in a few days, so I wrapped it all up pretty as a picture and walked it over to her house.
Right after that I delved into As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. I read it when I was pregnant, and remember loving it. I have read another of his novels, The Sound and the Fury, twice also and found more layers of meaning during the second reading, so I was excited to re-read this one too. A lot of people have a hard time with Faulkner, finding him too dense, too chaotic, too unusual in his writing style. I don't blame them. I always spend the first few chapters of his books confused and irritated. But at some point it all starts to flow and you are swept up and you realize that HE IS A GODDAMNED GENIUS. I enjoyed reading the reviews on Goodreads and seeing how many people have had the very same experience. I could spend the rest of my life dissecting this book, always finding something new, something brilliant and subtle. No one has ever told a story the way William Faulkner does, and I will be a life-long devoted fan of his. I can't wait to read more.
I have been on the library waiting list for Franklin & Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage by Hazel Rowley for over a year. I'm about a third of the way into it and am utterly fascinated. There has always been something about each of them as individuals that I've been attracted to. My interest in FDR probably started in adolescence when I started reading about astrology and my own sun sign, Aquarius. Seems every author wanted to draw comparisons between myself and this enigmatic man, whose birthday is near mine, instilling in me some sense of juvenile pride and undeserved hubris at this proximity to greatness. Still though, it sparked my interest. As for Eleanor, learning in history classes and books about her contribution to American politics- especially her support of women, children, and the working class- (all while raising five children and tending a husband stricken with polio) always made me want to know more about her. And you can just google Eleanor Roosevelt quotes to see what an extraordinarily intelligent and caring woman she was.
When I first heard a review of this book on NPR I knew it was finally time to delve into the lives of these two, and I was especially intrigued by the fact that the author, who has chronlicled many a historical marriage, called theirs "one of the most interesting and radical marriages in history". The reviewer, Maureen Corrigan, says that "While Sartre and De Beauvior were hashing over gender roles in sequestered cafes, Franklin and Eleanor had already forged their own cutting edge version of a marriage, despite living for nearly four terms in the fish bowl of the White House".
Moving on! Forgive my meandering...
I suppose the reward of laying your eyes on this perfect Gunne Sax Sun Dress makes up for the haphazard way these Prairie Dress a Day posts have been coming together.
How wonderful it will be to read new books in the sun in a pretty dress this spring! For now, it's raining like crazy here...