Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Abandonment issues: Reader Edition

Yesterday, I got bogged down in a mediocre novel. I blogged about it here, describing how I made lemonade out of that little lemon, so I won't re-cover that territory. But today, I read a different novel, a story that swept me up into a captivating group of friends and their unfolding lives, leaving me at the end of the book wanting more, and wondering about the characters: how are they doing? where are they now?

I love and hate this feeling of escaping into another world for 300 pages or so, then being jerked back into my real life once I reach the end. (And I like my real life, so it's not as if it's a sacrifice to spend time here.) Good novels make me feel like I've made new friends...and then lost them, forever. It's angsty stuff!

I'm thinking about this because one of my favorite authors, Ann Patchett, is coming to Cambridge tomorrow night to read from her new novel, State of Wonder (Porter Square Books, 7pm) I've read almost everything she's written, including her spectacular memoir. Her writing is brilliant, and so she ALWAYS leaves me in that, "Wait...don't go!" place at the end of every book. I think I'll need to gear up emotionally before I dive into another group of characters with captivating/enthralling/infuriating stories who are certain to abandon me. Still though, I'm willing to assume the risk. It's worth it.

And as I turn the last page, I'll stare at the cover longingly, wishing I was back at the beginning, with this story (and these characters) still ahead of me, waiting to draw me in. Then I'll force myself to move on to the next adventure!

What was the last book you read? How did you feel as you turned the last page?

1 comment:

John said...

I read a WONDERFUL book recently called The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. I mean, wow. It's fantastic. When I was almost finished, I started slipping into that space where I was so sad I'd never spend time with September, the heroine, again (it seemed like a one-off). Then, on the very last page, the author basically promised a sequel. I actually yelled in joy.

So, I was lucky, but I know what you mean. And there's always the option to beg (*ahem*) er... petition your favorite author for a sequel. ;)