It finally happened.
Winter arrived today.
Icy rivulets ran down the windowpanes in harmony with hot coffee streaming into the pot. Howling winds battered the house as a Mozart Piano Concerto danced gently on the stereo.
Leaden gray skies hung heavily over us as warm firelight flickered in the living room.
We are making the most of this wintry Sunday morning.
Naturally books are part of our response to winter. It’s a perfect day to draw inward, to luxuriate in the warmth and coziness of the house, and to be drawn in by a fascinating book, lose oneself in a richly textured story.
I’m about to finish my second book of the year, What She Left, by T.R. Richmond. It’s a psychological thriller about Alice Salmon, a young English journalist who drowns under mysterious circumstances. What’s most interesting about the book is they way the author presents the story, using only the vehicles of social media, diary entries, letters, emails, and phone texts to tell the story of the victim, her family, friends, and potential killers. With each entry we learn bits and pieces about Alice and what led her to drown in the waters of a Southampton river on a cold February night.
This device for story-telling is quite effective, and certainly leads the reader to consider how much of ourselves we make visible to the world these days through the written word. As one who makes prevalent use of social media and blogging, not to mention private journals, this book forces me to think about the persona I would leave behind.
I’m not sure how this book will hold up over time, especially in regard to the social media references such lengthy exchanges in Twitter and clues revealed through blog posts and comments. I feel like the specifics may cause it to become dated, and rob the story of some of it’s currency. But it’s been an interesting read for me, and even though not one of the characters is terribly likable or sympathetic (not really even the victim), I’m drawn into the story and continue reading toward the end to find out how all these disparate pieces of the puzzle will fit together.
Yesterday morning the sun was shining and we wore only windbreakers as we walked our dogs in the local park. Today we batten down the hatches, get comfortable under warm blankets, put on another pot of coffee and draw in to the warmth and safety of home.
How about you? How’s the weather (and the reading) where you are this Sunday morning?