Monday, May 18, 2009

Inspire Me Mondays - Two Books




This morning, I'm inspired by authors. I am currently reading Benjamin Black's Christine Falls. Let me tell you, wow. What a superb writer he is. This is a mystery that takes place in Ireland in the 1950's. I just am taken with some of his descriptions. Here are a few to entice you:

"Behind the Four Courts now a dark-blue cloud with an aspect of grim intent had begun edging its way up the sky, eclipsing the light of an as yet unseen sun." (pg 11)

"His eyes scalded, they felt as if they had been boiled; he closed them, and shivered as the lids touched, imparting to each other along their inflamed edges a tiny, horrible kiss." (pg15)
"The greenish air of evening was softly warm." (pg 21)

"She had taken off her hat and set it beside her plate; it looked like a table ornament, its feather languidly adroop." (pg 23)


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I know that recently I also mentioned that I'd begun reading Kate Horsley's Confessions of a Pagan Nun. I finished it, and was absolutely entranced with it. I've never read anything quite like it. Ms. Horsley has a very distinct, unique writing voice and I just loved it.


Here is what the Library Journal had to say about this book:


When we think of the Dark Ages, we often think of a dim, primitive society where people struggled just to stay alive, with no room for spirituality or philosophy. The cool, clear, gemlike precision of Horsley's (Crazy Woman) new novel tells another tale. Gwynneve is born into a world suspended between paganism and Christianity: Ireland circa 500 C.E. While the rest of Europe was well on its way toward Christianity, at this time Ireland remained much closer to its pagan traditions. After losing her mother, Gwynneve trains as a druid and practices as one for many years. By the time she sets her story down, though, she has converted to Christianity and become a nun. The book is written as a memoir detailing her journey from her birth into a pagan tribe to her end as a Christian with near-saintly status. Her story is not just that of a strong woman making her way in a hostile world. It is also the story of what happens to a country when a new religion takes the place of the old. A beautifully written and thought-provoking book; recommended for all fiction collections.




These are some of my favorite quotes from the book:


"My mother's fingers holding herbs, stained by the black earth she dug them from, and her merry mouth, one side curling up, are pictures of pagan freedom that I cannot purge or unlove." (pg 12)


"There is no round light behind my head, God forgive me. I sometimes enjoy rage. Neither do I have the character of the martyr, for I love comfortable places where the rain is not cold and the meals are not meager." (pg 18)


"It is hard to know the truth in the matters of saints. Some still say that Sister Aillenn is a saint because of her suffering. But if suffering makes saints, then all the people of this land are saints." (pg 70)


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2 comments:

Graciel @ Evenstar Art said...

Love it, Katie! How could we live with out books?

xo

Doreen said...

They both sound like wonderful books..I'm especially intrigued by the "Confessions of a Pagan Nun"..I may have to find that at the library soon.

:)Have a joyous day,
Doreen