A friend recently sent me a copy of Mary Alice Monroe's Time is a River and I dived right in. It's set in western North Carolina and is the story of a breast cancer survivor, looking to rebuild her life after her husband has dumped her for a younger woman.
I'm kind of fascinated how many books there are with a similar theme -- woman seeking wholeness -- and how many are best sellers. Which leads me to wonder how many women there are in real life on a similar quest.
This book has a nice extra -- fly fishing. Mia, the protagonist, after attending a fly fishing workshop designed for breast cancer survivors, stays on in a run-down cabin once owned by a famous fly fisherwoman -- one of the first -- who became infamous when she was charged with murder. In an old armoire, Mia discovers vintage fly rods -- and beautiful china and silver, as well as a royal blue taffeta evening gown. When she later finds diaries kept by the supposed murderer, Mia is hooked -- so to speak.
And so was I.
The mystery of the infamous previous owner is eventually unwound in a very intriguing manner and there is lots of lovely description of fly fishing and the beautiful setting.
I read far more critically these days and, while there were bits of the novel that were predictable -- here comes the hunky and sensitive guy for her to fall in love with -- I was fascinated by the very predictability of it. But a certain amount of predictability is comforting, I suppose.
Mia spends a lot of time cleaning up this old cabin she's renting and making improvements to it. Of course this is a metaphor for what she's doing with her own life but I admit to being a complete sucker for tales of people fixing up old places -- Laurie R. King's Folly, one of my favporite novels, hit a lot of the same notes. And somewhere I have the beginning of a novel I started forty years ago with Hester and a snarky husband and the old farmhouse she brings to life.
This was a very pleasant read -- and I'll pass it along. If you'd like to have your name put in the hat, tell me so in the comments. I'll draw a name on Wednesday.
LV - January 2012
5 years ago