Today I am basking in the joy of reading! I mean, I do that most days, but I admit during recent months even my reading capability seemed to deteriorate in the face of domestic challenges and dramas. Anyway, all that has changed now with the experience of one fantastic book. And I am so happy and feel more enriched for the pleasure of reading it.
The book in question is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. I hadn't heard of it before this summer. It was assigned by my local book club to be our big summer read. And what a big book it is! The paperback that I borrowed from my library has 933 pages, and very long chapters. Personally I prefer short chapters because it makes the book easier to read around children, but I persevered, and am so glad I did. I was hooked right from the first chapter, but a full review will follow when I've had time to digest the story.
That is part of the joy I rediscovered. It isn't just about reading a good story. The book was substantial, well written, and very detailed. I savoured the choice of words, the education given by the author, and simply the feel of a good, solid book in my hands. My reading friends will understand! It is something that cannot be put into words, but I suppose a close analogy is that of the devoted football fan. Where a fan will follow his or her team all around the world to experience the joy and drama of a match, so a reader will give up everything in order to finish a very good book. It will stay with them. It will draw them in to a whole new world, and for days after finishing, the reader stumbles around in a state of almost-reality, still living the life of the protagonist and the world of the story.
I am in this place right now. I can't think straight, because I am thinking about the book. The characters are my people, my friends, and I feel a part of that world, even though it talks about a place that I have never physically visited. That is the result of a true story teller. And I hope that people who read my novels feel a similar connection, and follow a similar journey as they connect with my Redcliffe characters. Oh, and this week you can see me over on the blog of fellow author Diana Rubino. Check me out!