Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Day 2 - A Book I've Read More than 3 Times

It's week two of my 30-Day (Week) Book Meme, and I'm supposed to talk about a book I've read more than 3 times. Excluding children's books read more than 1,000 times to kids and grandkids, I think the list is probably fairly short. Not because I don't have some favorite books, but because I'm always feeling so behind on the stack of books waiting for me to read them for the first time. 

I mean, I'm currently reading Mary, Mary by Ed McBain, a book I bought new when it came out back in 1993. That's more than 20 years ago. I've packed and moved that book all around town and then, finally, across the country. It's been such a patient book, I thought it deserved to finally be read, so even though I'm feeling the pull to read an old favorite again, I moved Mary to the top of the list. 

But that's not the issue here. The task today is to talk about a book I've read more than 3 times. This one's easy. My book of choice is Cashelmara by Susan Howatch. (Surprise! Another Susan Howatch book) 

I'm choosing it because I received a notice yesterday that it was available on Kindle for a ridiculously low price -- ridiculous when you consider how much I love this book. I think I own at least two print copies--maybe three--because you can never own too many of a favorite book. 

In nineteenth-century Ireland, the de Salis family carries on through times of both riches and hardship, but their hard-won resilience will be threatened by tragedy of their own making
When Edward de Salis travels to America after the death of his first wife, he is astonished to find himself falling in love with Marguerite, a young woman many years his junior. Full of hope for the future, he returns to his Irish estate, Cashelmara, but in nineteenth-century Ireland—a country racked by poverty and famine—his family eventually becomes trapped in a sinister spiral of violence that Edward could never have foreseen. Cashelmara follows the fortunes of three generations as they struggle to survive both the tragedies of history and their own chaotic lives.
That's what the back cover copy says about the book, but it's so much more than that. I love big, rich, historical family sagas to begin with, and I love Howatch's style of writing. I love the way she works with point of view and how she manages to pull me into each of the characters' skins so completely that I'm rooting for them 100% -- until I'm suddenly not. Howatch is a true master of her craft. 

Some day when I grow up, I want to try my hand at writing something as rich and wonderful as a Susan Howatch book. 

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