Saturday, August 30, 2003

any time you're in nashville

Did I tell you about this? The other day, in the store, I was discussing "The Bean Trees" with some customers. Another woman who had been in the background while this went on went out to her car and returned with Barbara Kingsolver's new book, Small Wonder.

"Here," she said, "I'll be in the area for a day, why don't you take a look at this?" Her name was Jeanne, she was from Tennessee, she had a lovely smile and a dainty way of holding herself. The spine was practically untouched, the cover a creamy white. Since Deanie was to be away for a week, I put aside my work for the day and just read. I got home from work, took an old comforter from my bed and went down to the field, where I read until the sun set. I went back up to the farmhouse, played Boggle with the boys, then read til midnight. After breakfast and a bike ride, until 11 am, and when I wasn't attending to customers, I turned page after page, taking in all Ms. Kingsolver had to say. When the woman from Tennessee came back, I handed her back the book, a big fat "Wow" forming from my lips. It had been intense, but in a pleasant way, and the kind of thing where you don't realize til after how much of it you took in. I still think of certain passages and want to go find the book, but it left its mark in one day and is now gone, no trace of it left anywhere near me.

Jeanne and I talked a bit before she left, me breathless from taking so much in, asking rambling questions that jumped over one another. She smiled sweetly and said "Any time you're in Nashville!" and then left, the cream-colored book tucked under her arm.

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