To open a book and immerse yourself inside another time and place, preferably a life that isn’t our own, soothes the mind. Choosing to escape through another’s words allows us to decompress and enjoy the art of writing. An art so diverse that everyone can find something they love.
The destination of creativity is scary. Writer’s create their own path, but this isn’t easy. My biggest motivation is reading work from my favorite authors. This is a large list, but there is one I want to highlight today.
The Amazing Kristin Hannah has captured my respect, infatuation and heart. I covet her stories and recommend them to others in hopes that someone else will experience her amazing gift.
Kristin Hannah has written several books and had an unusual start to writing. One which is inspiring to a woman embarking on a new career, such as I am. I began reading her novels in my early 30’s and became an instant fan. Snagging as many of her books from the local bookstore that I could, I filled my bookshelf. Even after the e-reader phenomenon made purchasing books so simple, I still craved to own the actual “real life” book. Her newest release, The Nightingale, was no exception. I pre-ordered with “One-Click” on Amazon (a major addiction of mine) and waited. (Impatiently, as I do with most things.)
I wanted to read it, yet I did not. Fearing the end of the story before I actually owned it. Ridiculous right? Despite my inner turmoil, I began to read it the day it downloaded to my Kindle. Two days later, I purchased the hard cover version to add to my collection.
Enjoying the feel of the book’s pages between my fingers and loving that new-book smell, I set out to discover more about this new world. After reading a scene between one of the lead heroines and her husband, my flesh covered with goose bumps. I decided to set it aside and savor the moment. Honestly, I was afraid that if I delved more into the story, I would lose myself completely, finishing in one night. From what I had already read of this epic WWII love story, each word needed to be savored.
My perseverance lasted 4 days. (My longest record to date!)
On a Friday evening, I began the next chapter and did not put it down until Saturday. During these 24 hours, I was living and breathing alongside each character. Their friendships, obstacles, and trials dug deep and claimed me. Set in the time of WWII, I became engrossed with the lives of sisters, Vianne and Isabelle. Their story became personal. Addicting, as any good book is.
When I finished, my family remarked on the tears that streamed down my cheeks. My son laughed and went to find his father. My two non-readers just don’t understand. They are not like me and it is during these trying moments, I long to call the author and express my feelings. Ask a million questions. Maybe absorb some of their greatness.
As I sat with the book in my hands, not ready to say goodbye, I wanted to reread it. But the emotions were still fresh and I wasn’t strong enough to revisit something so tender and profound. Not yet.
Kristin Hannah shared this story with the world – with me – and I am forever grateful. To read more about the author, check out her website.
I believe reading allows me to grow and see the world in a different light. Showing us a road paved in another’s perspective is a gift we should acknowledge. It may be an opportunity that leads us towards a brighter tomorrow.