On a monochromatic day like today, borrowing color from the past seems only sensible. I've been borrowing literary color, too, crossing the Atlantic for it.
Sometimes after I finish two or three books I’d been living inside, so to speak, for a while, it’s hard to settle on the next. That’s where I was the night before Thanksgiving. Tried a murder mystery by a popular writer whose work I’ve enjoyed before but found he just didn’t fit my mood this time. Took up a novel by a favorite poet-essayist and gave it a few chapters before folding that hand, wondering why she had been so unwilling to let the characters speak for themselves. I did want another novel, though, and at last committed to Left Bank, by Kate Muir. Only after I had described this novel in e-mail to family members as “fun” did I realize the strangeness of such a description in talking about a story that has a young child suddenly disappearing, possibly kidnapped, in the first chapter--hardly the stuff of comedy! But as the author shifts into chapters of flashbacks, mercilessly skewering Parisian obsessions with film, fashion, food and philosophy (also satisfying my memory-laden fantasies with scene after scene in the Sixth Arrondissement), I find it hard to believe anything terrible has happened or will happen to bright, independent little tomboy, Sabine. We’ll see. I decided to save for reading aloud to David tonight the chapter which has Sabine’s mother, the Texas-born French movie star, filming on location in Picardy. He’ll love that.