Monday, March 19, 2012
Ah, The Sweet Smell Of . . . Lysol?
Image courtesy: ja450n
It started with the ants--six or seven of them scurrying around my kitchen floor. The warm weather plus my poor (nonexistent) cleaning habits finally caught up with me yesterday. Something had to be done.
Once the kids and hubby were off to their schools, I attacked the house with broom, Swiffer, Lysol, bucket, and gajillion handrags. I washed walls! I scrubbed cabinets! My house smelled, um, pretty clean. Wow.
But then I realized I just burned an entire day of writing time. Duh-oh! When will I ever learn?
On a better note, I did come across a remarkable book at just the right time--Anita Shreve's Fortune's Rocks. It's set in the 19th century and features a young woman protagonist. My current manuscript does too (but mine happens forty years earlier and the MC is three years older).
In Fortune's Rocks, Olympia Biddleford spends the summer of 1899 with her parents on the shores of New Hampshire where she falls head over heals in love with a forty-year-old married man. YA fans and creators take note: Shreve captures that wild, falling-in-love period beautifully. Olympia is fifteen: young enough to let her feelings dictate her actions and old enough to recognize their fallacies. She knows the dreams featuring her beloved have given her a sense of intimacy with the man that doesn't yet exist.
Things get really wild when the married man returns Olympia's affections. They start a torrid affair knowing the outcome will be somewhere between heartbreaking and a complete catastrophe. Since this is fiction, guess which way things turn out? Yep, catastrophe.
I loves the historical details like the evolution of factory workers in the northeast. Years before this story takes place, young women from nearby farms were hired to work long hours. Yet the factory owners created a housing environment and opportunities for learning and entertainment that created a lifestyle somewhat like going to college. In the MC's time, the farm girls have been replaced with foreigners who crowd their entire families into dorm-sized rooms, allowing disease to run rampant. There is a class/culture warfare brewing between the established (wealthier) whites and the more recent French immigrants. The members of this poor class are referred to as 'Franco' in a derogatory way.
This is one of those library books grabbed on a whim that now, I must own.
On a different note, who's psyched about seeing Hunger Games this weekend?