I am going to the library like every other day lately, to swap out stacks of books for other stacks of books because the stingy library will only let me have 35 at a time and 35 is just a tease.
Among other things, I’m trying to furiously read all the books that the faculty of my new degree place have written before I go to soak up their wisdom in January. And so, while I’m checking out stacks of books by a particular author, I’m just opening them at will and diving into the book. Without knowing anything at all about it.
And I’m so glad. Because I sat down tonight to read My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt and was completely blown away. The main character’s voice is rich and powerful. The setting is vivid and cozy. And I was just completely sucked in to what I assumed was going to be a “coming of age” summer type book. But midway into the story, someone dies. It literally took my breath away. And I was crying buckets of tears on my bed, listening to the kids giggling in theirs on the baby monitor.
Like I didn’t believe it. And I was pissed off. And thought, ‘Why didn’t someone tell me??’ and then flipped to the inside jacket blurb and the back blurb. And there it was. Written all over the place. Like everyone else who picks up this great book will know it’s about a death. But not me. Because I just started reading without reading the jacket at all.
And I’m so glad. Sometimes the shock of something can suck you even further into the character’s own grief and loss. I hardly ever read jackets or back cover blurbs. For this very reason. I prefer to just soak it up on my own with no expectations.
My search for the amazon link I added above led me to realize there was a movie made about this book. Which I’m sure the rest of the world has seen – except for me. And I’m so glad about that too. I have a rule that I never see movies based on books I’ve read and loved. Never. Don’t get me started on that.