Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Hour I First Believed

Dear Wally,

On April 14 2008, in the afterword of your latest novel you wrote, "Having affixed its last period to its final sentence, I now release it to my readers and invite them to find in it whatever they want or need to find."

Thank you for this story.  I'm glad I found it.  I have always been a very voracious reader, but for the past ten months I haven't been able to sit still enough to read much.  Stress and sadness and fear and adrenaline made my mind too jittery.  But Caelum Quirk, that flawed and fabulous character, reeled me into his life and held me there for 700 pages.  

"Books teach us how to live our lives."  Indeed.  That's a quote from a conference I once attended for teachers who believe in books.  And so what have I learned from this story?  To look for and to honor the dignity in each student, in each human.  To trust that the view from above makes this messy labyrinth less ugly and more holy.   To remember that hope and love are not only stronger and more powerful than hate and fear, they also require far more courage.  

A story this good was exactly the medicine I needed to restore my reading habit.  Thank you.