Saturday, July 5, 2008

STRANGE FITS OF PASSIONOne of my favorite authors is Anita


One of my favorite authors is Anita Shreve. I believe I have read nearly every book she has written. They are contemporary works, often including romance and conflict, but definitely not of the "romances" genre. They are very intelligent and well-written. So it was that when I picked up her novel,"Strange Fits of Passion," to start reading it yesterday afternoon, I was quite filled with anticipation, although the title had put me off a little bit and that's one reason why I hadn't gotten around to reading it earlier.

The story begins as a young woman with a baby goes into a small store in the tiny town of St. Hilaire, Maine, to purchase a few items. She has a scarf wrapped around her face and head but it slips off and the others in the store can see that her head is in very bad shape, with terrible bruising. Her lip is deeply split as well. She inquires about a place to stay, and is directed to a small motel in the area, where she stays the night, and then the motel owner, who is very sympathetic and guesses how the injuries happened, directs her to a woman who owns an insulated cottage (it's the dead of winter) on the ocean. The young woman with the baby says she is Mary Amesbury and she claims to have been injured in an accident. The time frame for most of this story is 1970-1971.

As the book unfolds, the various chapters are told through the vantage point of a number of characters, but mostly Mary. Shreve masterfully builds the characterization and the plot suspense, as it becomes clear that Mary is trying to hide from a brutal husband. She knows she can't go to the police -- in those days, not much was known or understood about domestic violence.

There is a sweet romance and quite a bit of tragedy, as well as sickening betrayal, in this story. I was riveted by it and couldn't put it down; I finished it last night. I feel it is a very worthwhile read and I recommend it and Anita Shreve as an author very highly.

I am finding that I am getting low on books now. I do have a movie to watch later on today, so that will be a nice distraction from boredom. I am finding that my sore arm doesn't like Jeff's computer station very well, although it is generally better due to the PT. Perhaps I will be able to find more books when I shop Wednesday morning. I hope so! It's not all that often that I am in the mood to read! Still, I very much appreciate being able to use Jeff's computer on evenings and weekends -- it means a lot to me to be able to write and be instantly in touch with my online friends and my family!

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