Unable are the loved to die for love is immortality.
When I was finishing up my English degree, a million times more in love with books and reading and writing and especially in love with reading books written by women, I wondered in an essay how I would continue to find books that would resonate, without the guidance of English professors. The professor who had assigned the essay—one of my favorite teachers—wrote that I would learn more and more authors by just reading widely, by going to the library and talking to librarians, and by being open to new experiences. He told me that finding books we love is a life-long process and to trust that books would come when I needed them.
Shortly after I graduated (the summer I was pregnant with Nathan) I picked up a novel by Alice Hoffmann off the shelf at the library (the same library where I now work, how weird is that) just to try. It was called Here on Earth and was a contemporary retelling of Wuthering Heights. I fell in love and I’ve been an Alice Hoffman fan ever since.
In preparation for reading The Book of Magic, I decided I wanted to listen to The Rules of Magic and Practical Magic. Still waiting on the latter to come up on my Libby hold list, but I listened to The Rules of Magic this week while I worked on my quilt. (An autumn quilt, which now is imbibed with some of the Owens’ family magic, stitched right in.)
I didn’t write about this one when I read it, so I’m not 100% sure how it compares between audio and print. I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the tale of Jet and Frannie Owens and their brother, Victor. I had forgotten how the book ends and I confess to crying hard over it, as Jet and Frannie get an unexpected gift in their old age: Gillian and Sally Owens as little girls who need a home and a family to raise them. I do think I understood the story better since I read Magic Lessons last year. What I left the story feeling was that love comes in many forms, and struggle is inevitable and unavoidable, but the forms of love make it just a little bit more bearable.