Friday, May 3, 2013

On Re-reading

Do you have any books that you've read and reread over the course of years, so that layered over the story is your experience of reading here, here, and here? I remember opening this book for the first time, in Maine, so that I always think of the ocean when I see this book, even though it's set in the Arizona Territories. In the time since I last read this book, I've become a wife and a mother. I find myself relating to Sarah Prine's marriage and motherhood in a whole new way. Suddenly, those details of the whining toddler, the pile of diapers to wash, rise to the foreground for me. And that's a pleasure. I've also, in the time since reading this, gone through an MFA program, and I'll never read any book quite the same way again. There is no turning off the curious part of me that wants to know how it's written. Suddenly, I'm catching and critiquing odd choices in the diary format (when exactly during the day did she write this?). I'm noticing pacing and action and improbability, and I don't want to see these things. I want to turn that off and jump wholeheartedly into this world, rather than hanging on by one hand to the world of the editor. Sigh. It's still one of my favorite books, though.

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