Monday, September 21, 2009

"top ten sports movies of all time. now. go." - brendan

Brendan used to spout off top ten list questions whenever there was a lull in conversation...And the thing of it was, he'd always have an answer prepared for every one. Top 10 baseball players. Top 10 teacher movies. Top 10 foods. Top 10 novels. He thought in lists. Or at least talked in them.

I cannot narrow down my top 10 novels, but I can narrow down my top 2 love stories:

They are Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett, and Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver. Prodigal Summer is not my favorite Kingsolver book, actually, that one is Animal Dreams, but Prodigal Summer is tied with Bel Canto for favorite love story. Prodigal Summer might actually tip the scales slightly higher. Bel Canto makes me believe in the possibility of great love, love you could drown in. It also leaves me feeling desperately sad. Prodigal Summer seems a little more ordinary, but leaves me wanting nothing more than to be in love, as if it's the natural way of things.

But I'm re-reading Bel Canto right now, and in the best parts - the middle, where you hope this great big love Gen and Carmen find themselves in works and lasts and they figure out some way out of the Vice President's house:

"A kiss in so much loneliness was like a hand pulling you up out of the water, scooping you up from a place of drowning and into the reckless abundance of air..." (page 207)

And then there's Simon and Edith Thibault, so fantastically tender and lovely:

"Had she been like this and he had never known?....Without these particular circumstances, this specific and horrible place, he might never have realized that the only true love of this life was his wife." (page 36)

That sentence alone is worth reading the book for.

Dammit, I forgot Lord Peter and Harriet Vane. Okay, top 3 love stories: Dorothy Sayers' Gaudy Night must be mentioned.

1 comment:

Tavia said...

I love Bel Canto! Every time I read it I read slower and slower as I get to the end - the opposite of what I do with most books :)