Friday, August 12, 2005
I read a book sort of by mistake, Turning for Home by Sarah Challis. It's good in its way, but it's not my kind (I think the name came up off an Amazon UK recommendation based on the fact that I'd ordered books by Victoria Clayton, whose novels I adore; I got it through my beloved BorrowDirect, but it wasn't what I was expecting). The thing that really gave me a pang is that while the book is itself about a bond between a twenty-something drifter and an old lady who she comes to work for as a carer, which resonates with me greatly, it is SO much a book that my actual grandmother would have loved. It is just her kind of book. It pains me that I don't know whether she read these books or not, though I can't help but feel she must have. I have had this several times recently, as you do for someone you really love who's died: I don't care about my birthday, but she always sent me a birthday card, and it was very kind that my mother stepped in and made sure to send me one to arrive on the day because I was so much thinking about my grandmother and missing her. And I recently went to a quasi-bachelorette party that she would love to have heard about, the hostess was a former southern belle in her 80s who knew Zelda Fitzgerald (who came to afternoon tea when she was on furlough from the asylum or whatever) and Harper Lee and generally the evening would have provided much grist to my grandmother's mill (I was dying to send her a description of the dinner entree, Chicken Hong Kong, which is indescribable but may have included Campbell's cream of mushroom soup and canned water-chestnuts; we washed it down with vast amounts of Veuve Cliquot).