Can we take a moment to thank Egmont for publishing another Beth Kephart exquisite novel? Thank you, Egmont!
You Are My Only will be released October 25th, and I encourage you then to find Beth's newest book. In this realistic fiction novel, you'll breath despair along with several suppressed characters. You'll turn pages and yearn for them each to find hope. One story tells of a young mother's loss of her baby, while the second winds a tale of a teen sequestered from society. How the works intertwine is brilliant. From beginning to end, images and movements echo and resonate back and forth between the stories. At the reveal, I actually stopped reading, stunned by the moment of truth.
As always, I was mesmerized by Beth's rich writing. Even in the smallest detail:
"There is a bird making a tree branch heavy, her gray belly bottom like the high back of the sun."
"Outside the wind sneaks up under the loose skirt of the roof tiles..."
Nesting in the story are sweet truths of life that you can grapple with and then possibly hold.
"Tragedy and blessing," Miss Cloris says. "Sometimes they're the same one thing."
"What do you suppose any of us, Sophie, wish to be remembered for? For the things that tried to stop us or the ways we carried on?"
I'm still thinking over the latter. I'm challenged to find the truth that I would ultimately hold.
You Are My Only is current, relevant, and gracefully written with gripping realism. There is no shrinking back. Thank you, Beth, for staying truly dedicated to the fine art of writing.
Wow, I haven't posted about Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2011, apparently. I recall aiming to post tidbits on making travel easier. I did a lot of flying at the turn of the year, and I did figure out a few tricks. Hm. Next, maybe?
Right now I'm having a flare in my cricoarytenoid joint. It's the little joint in the larynx that can inflame and affect 30% of RA patients. Ta da! That means if we cross paths in person, I'll be hardly speaking. And that is what I find interesting.
Who are we with little or no words? What can we contribute to a social setting without adding to the flow of discussion? How is our family affected when we can't speak up or assist in discourse? So many questions spring from this experience.
I can say it's been invaluable to quiet down and listen. It's helpful to have to consider whether something really needs to be said. (You weigh it if pain may follow. Ha!)
I've loved watching others step up and help out, maybe engaging beyond what they would have if I was enabling connections. I see my husband telling stories, my daughters chatting on the phone with my friends, and my bestie teasing everyone with what I'm supposedly saying. Don't believe a word she says, by the way.
I'm up for the testing on my b-day, to be certain there are no other complications, and then finding a new normalcy if this continues. In the meantime, take a moment to be thankful for the ability to chat. It is a gift for certain. But then, take a moment to listen as well. :~) Especially if you are a doctor.
Imagine, a secret dinner invitation, details to follow. Cooking a few exquisite dishes. Dressing head to toe in white. Heading to Seattle and having the final destination texted to you at the last moment.
Imagine arriving at a public park with 250 other guests you didn't know were invited, all dressed in white, as well.You meet the lead host and hostess as they welcome everyone. Tables, linens, crystal, and china are arranged. Candles and luminarias are lit. The wandering accordion player and a band fill the pink air with music as the sun sets over the city.
Thanks to Justina Chen, Dave and I were invited to enjoy a table among the sea of white. We were joined by Martha Brockenbrough and her husband Adam, and Justina's dear friend, Derek. It was a magical night, a life memory.
photo by Martha Brockenbrough
Justina and Derek
There was intimacy within our little table, while we had a sense of community being part of the expansive whole. The following photos: Justina, Martha, our table, the view to the south, and to the west.