That Old Reader Thrill - Books I Can’t Forget
Do you remember that thrill you feel, the tingle of delight when you start a book and you know you’re going to love it? Usually this line:
It was a dark and stormy night.
…is a joke, but not when the book is A Wrinkle in Time.
It starts quietly enough. Meg’s problems seem typical. Problems at school, problems at home. Growing pains. Braces. Doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere.
Boy, did her problems resonate with me when I first encountered Wrinkle. And I loved her great, big imagination. (I had the same reaction to Anne in Anne of Green Gables.)
I loved the growing feeling of foreboding. The slow build, the questions that pop up inside your head. What is happening? Why is it happening? Who are these people? Questions. The mother’s milk of the reader.
And then the Mrs’ Which, Whatis and Who arrive. The characters ARE the questions. How cool is that?
L’Engle draws you into the story, but at a pace suitable for the young. Reading it now, as an adult, I can push the pace, but I don’t want to because the story is so well written.
If you haven’t read it yet, it is never too late to read a good book. If you have, did you love it? I realize not everyone likes the same things, so we’ll still be friends. Instead, tell me about a book that gave you the reader’s thrill and maybe I’ll find a new book to love.
Pauline Baird Jones
Perilously romantic fiction for armchair adventurers