Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Read any great books lately? I’ve been reading RITA contest entries (for the uninitiated, the RITA is an annual prize for excellence awarded by the Romance Writers of America), as well as beta-reading manuscripts for my romance-writing friends — which is something I love to do, but it means I’m always bursting with excitement about books that won’t be released for six months or a year — so basically I’m not allowed to talk about anything I’m reading. If my recommendation posts get a little miscellaneous, that’s why. I’m going to dip into some classic favorites.
Here’s one: Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. The blurb goes like this—
We were going out stealing horses. That was what he said, standing at the door to the cabin where I was spending the summer with my father. I was fifteen. It was 1948 and one of the first days of July.
Trond’s friend Jon often appeared at his doorstep with an adventure in mind for the two of them. But this morning was different. What began as a joy ride on “borrowed” horses ends with Jon falling into a strange trance of grief. Trond soon learns what befell Jon earlier that day–an incident that marks the beginning of a series of vital losses for both boys.
Set in the easternmost region of Norway, Out Stealing Horses begins with an ending. Sixty-seven-year-old Trond has settled into a rustic cabin in an isolated area to live the rest of his life with a quiet deliberation. A meeting with his only neighbor, however, forces him to reflect on that fateful summer.
If there were a Ven diagram showing what my husband likes to read and what I like to read, the overlap would contain only two names: Per Petterson and Cormac McCarthy. But we agree on this one, because it’s totally awesome. I first read this book about five years ago, and I remember several scenes so vividly, still, that I fall into a kind of fog of emotion just thinking about them. There is a fascinating story in this novel, but for me it’s the language — and more than the language, the scene-painting — that really sticks. It is simply one of the most beautiful, heart-wringing, edge-of-seat-gaspy-with-awe books I’ve ever read.