Monday, December 5, 2011

A Love Story about Place

This is a grown up novel, not a story book, but I thought I would still share. I love all of Vreeland's books as they are mostly about the lives of artists, and with my background in art history, well they are just perfect light reading, but the The Forest Lover is an absolute favorite. Having such a strong passion for place and creating connections, this piece of historical fiction plays at everyone of my heartstrings!

I happened to stumble upon this book in the bargain section of a book store looking for something to read on the plane as I went to fly to Victoria, British Columbia, where my mom was living at the time, to visit for Christmas. I honestly just liked the cover and quickly glanced at the blurb on the back. As luck would have it it was about the artist, Emily Car, who lived in Victoria, her deep passion for the place and her love of the native culture.  At the time I was single and living in a dry cabin with no running water in Fairbanks, finishing grad school and in my third year of teaching full time. I myself had fallen in love with Alaska Native culture and how place means something very different in Alaska than anywhere else I had lived. Talk about making connections!

While in Victoria my mother and I were able to go to the Emily Carr house and many of the places mentioned in the book, that I hadn't been to on previous trips, but now was curious about. At her house, now a historical landmark and museum we were greeted by an docent who explained typical Christmas traditions in Victoria at the time when Carr lived. It was so special and so poignant to make such immediate connections to a book I picked up by happenstance.

I have read all but two of Vreeland's novels. Currently I am devouring Clara and Mr. Tiffany.

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