I read a lot - to learn, to escape, to experience a world other than the one I live in. I'd say I average 6-10 books a month, sometimes more. I'm fairly choosy in what I read, and I am by nature open-minded, particularly when it comes to the creative accomplishments of others so suffice it to say that I often find much to admire in what I read. But the other day, on the recommendation of a lovely and talented neighbour and fellow writer, I started reading Kate Morton's The Distant Hours.
Every once in a while, you come across a book that sweeps you down into that lovely, dreamy whirlpool that is the painstakingly constructed literary world. This is one of them. A complex story - sometimes a little too complex I thought - and yet, a beautifully realized tale. All of my favourite things: books, deep, mysterious gardens, old English castles, a confessional narrative, gorgeous descriptions of English teas. Reading The Distant Hours, I found myself reminded of why I write in the first place - because I love words, and adore dropping down the rabbit hole, into the mesmerizing world of story.
I've spent the last four months razing my manuscript to the ground, and sifting through the ashes to find the good slabs that remain, the cornerstones upon which I can build the story I wanted to tell all along. I'm getting close. And the company of fantastic books like this is sound fellowship.