Ponder this:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mrs. Demming and the Mythical Beast

Twenty-five years ago I read a library copy of Mrs. Demming and the Mythical Beast and I have remembered phrases of it through all this time. I have dogeared so many pages for the wonderful descriptive phrasing:
"...in the alleyway where there was always a gathering of sparrows, the cheerful lower class of bird society."
"...an imposing three-story Victorian, heavily adorned with gingerbread, stained glass, and treillage, and towering over the village like a dowager empress over a tea table. High on the slope it sat, looking out over streets and river. From the cupola, Daisy said you could see 1893 and the retreating figure of Grover Cleveland."
"Turning, I walked away as if I were being played by Bette Davis."
Wonderful "paint-by-word pictures" as my friend Lord Wellbourne would say.

A few weeks ago I spied it in my favorite used bookstore, and scuttled home with it, placing it on my-books-to-read section of the bookshelves.  I let it stay there, beaming at me with a warm and friendly anticipatory glow, and I finally cracked it a few days ago.  I'm enjoying it more than I did the first time. 
For one thing, the protagonist is fifty years old and at this age I can understand her a little more easily and in greater depth than I could at thirty-something. The main appeal, though, is the writing.
I am down to the last few pages; I will finish the book tonight. 
And I don't want it to end.


Von said...

Oh Joy!!!What a delicious time you've had!

Lord Wellbourne said...

Some of my dearest friends are books. They only ask for a few moments of my attention at a time and are always glad to see me coming. They welcome me with open leaves and embrace my imagination. I have had long term relationships with several of them that have been mutually satisfying. They're never jealous or critical of my absences. We happily pick up where we left off. Books--comfort food for the soul.

Barb said...

Oh,no...not one of those books you don't want to end (which is the opposite of a never-ending book...) Now I suppose I'll have to try and find it to read for myself.

June said...

Delicious, indeed, Von. Mmmm.

LW, mmmmm, bookssssss... One of the best parts of all that you say is that my books and I can have the same conversations over and over again without boredom.

I'd gladly ship my copy to you, Barb, if you promise to send it back! :-) I think this will be a recurrent read for me. Of course, now I'm on the lookout for the rest of Faith Sullivan's oeuvre.

Autumn Mist said...

I have to have a book with me, all the time. A magazine just doesn't cut it, and it sounds as though you've found a treasure. I still have some books from my childhood (that are not childrens' books) and could only move here knowing that a lot of my books are safely stowed with my daughter and son in law. And yes, they are content on my shelf, a shining jewel that knows I cannot resist its allure.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

"the protagonist is fifty years old and at this age I can understand her a little more easily and in greater depth than I could at thirty-something."

I find that reading books at different ages offers a totally different perspective. Sort of like travel - what you see at 20 is completely different than 30, 40, 50 or more. Each holds its own magic.

Erin O'Riordan said...

I loved that book.