||[Mar. 30th, 2011|07:04 pm]
I was struck by the following excerpt of the book Emily, Alone by Stewart O'Nan on Fresh Air:
On formal occasions like tonight [Henry] would stand behind her like a valet ... She'd find him admiring her in the mirror, and while she discounted his adoration of her beauty — based, as it was, on a much younger woman — she also relied on it, and as time passed she was grateful for the restorative powers of his memory.
Love the phrase "restorative powers of his memory." I don't know if I'd like this book, but I'm drawn to it because of the last line of the piece: "With economy, wit and grace, O'Nan ushers us into the shrinking world of a pleasantly flawed, rather ordinary old woman and keeps us readers transfixed by the everyday miracles of monotony." I'd just read a romance novel that made me want to throw it across the room. It was a decent read: fairly pleasant characters, basically sweet relationship (marriage of convenience turns into love), no graphic sex...Then it was all ruined by throwing in ridiculous drama at the end, including one cliche* I despise beyond all belief. Recently, I've been drawn to novels that manage to make the ordinary feel special without too much extra drama. It results in less eye-rolling, at least.
*Long, involved farewell letters after a huge blow-up with confessions of love/explanations that make the recipient almost immediately regret EVERYTHING and want to make it all right would instantly combust, if I had my way.