Two words, not always stated, just implied. Sometimes we reach them with relief, grateful we’d run the course of some literary torture. Other times, rare times, we reach the end in tears, or at least I do. Those are memorable works, maybe not to the world, but they are to me.
When I cheer out load, an author has me in their thrall. They’ve laid down a story that grabbed me and pulled me into the pages, made me walk the world as they imagined it.
My favourite novel is Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. She has her critics, and most who have read the book adore or hate it. I’m the former. Kate is middling in her technical writing skill, but she excels at creating worlds where you can lose yourself in the fantasy, however bleak the world she creates may be. She is a master storyteller, and if I can be only one of the two, please sign me up for the latter.
Two novels followed Labyrinth, forming a loose trilogy, more confederation than sequel. One character recurs in Sepulchre, and not in a major role. Citadel, the final of the Languedoc series, brought him back again, in an expanded role, as well as referenced several others.
This book, this Citadel, oh my. I hated putting it down, I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. When I reached those fateful last pages, tears. Many. I haven’t bawled over a book in this way since The Red Tent. Those tears celebrated the completion of something I now relish and will treasure. I cannot wait to read it again, but not before a year passes.
The protagonist was in my head all day today, along with the protagonists from Labyrinth, and from Sepulchre. So too the endings. These are women I wish I knew, I believe I know.
This is not a book to forget, not for me.
Music, it evolved into music. I think of two pieces. The second… is an entire album, but it captures the mood of the book so well.