Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Distant Hours

It started with a letter. A letter that had been lost a long time, waiting out half a century in a forgotten postal bag in the dim attic of a nondescript house in Bermondsey. I think about it sometimes, that mailbag: of the hundreds of love letters, grocery bills, birthday cards, notes from children to parents, that lay together, swelling and sighing as their thwarted messages whispered in the dark. Waiting, waiting, for someone to realize they were there. For it is said, you know, that a letter will always seek a reader, that sooner or later, like it or not, words have a way of finding the light, of making their secrets known.

The Distant Hours

Kate Morton

Pg. 7


Read this one between the two Elizabeth Kostova novels--The Swan Thieves and The Historian. Love Kate Morton. A wonderfully detailed writer. There are at least three, if not more, interwoven stories here. Dated chapter headings keep the chronology clear.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Swan Thieves


I got the call about Robert Oliver in April 1999, less than a week after he'd pulled a knife in the nineteenth-century collection at the National Gallery. It was a Tuesday, one of those terrible mornings that sometimes come to the Washington area when spring has already been flowery and even hot--ruinous hail and heavy skies, with rumbles of thunder in the suddenly cold air. It was also, by coincidence, exactly a week after the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO; I was thinking obsessively about that event, as I imagined every psychiatrist in the country must have been...

The Swan Thieves

Elizabeth Kostova


This is the opening paragraph, although I wish I'd marked more of the outstanding excerpts in this truly beautifully-written novel. Alas (Rarely get a chance to use that wonderfully expressive word.), I was reading a borrowed copy of Elizabeth Kostova's 2010 book. And, had not yet determined to never return the book to its rightful owner. (With permission...)

Anyhow, for me this is one of those books that you never want to end. I cherished the pages and stretched it out--a rarity for this book-a-day gal.

Now, I've begun Kostova's 2005 best seller--The Historian.