Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An Unexpected Find

As I mentioned yesterday, we easily found ourselves at the Maag Library Book Sale. I wondered what would I find in all these old textbooks. I wandered around, just slightly engaged at first. I glimpsed a paperback, thinking that looks lightweight for college commerce. A sepia picture of a woman,her hair styled with ringlets on either side of a middle part, dressed in bonnet and 1840's frock. Covered wagons fading in the background. In blue joyful print, Jubilee Trail, in white caps, below, A NOVEL. The author's name in the same light blue color, Gwen Bristow. Definitely reinforced my impression of summer reading.
I ambled around some more, looking at fascinating titles, but was drawn back to the brown and beige cover. I picked it up, read the back, more interesting I decided. I put it down. Oh, do I want to carry books around? Not really, it's hot. But this is a donation and David and the girls are still exploring the books.
I kept it and then decided what's a few more books. One on the Panama Canal, a thesaurus "For the Extraordinarily Literate," one on journalism and research and a little pocket style manual on clarity, grammar, punctuation and research filled the plastic bag for a modest donation from my husband.
The novel I started reading that evening. The two forwards pushed the level of interest and my background information on the writing of this western higher. I soon found I had read fifty pages. The beginning reminded me greatly of The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton, only the female lead wanted out of New York society in 1844. She was no May. Both bred to be the perfect society lady, wife and mother, but Garnet hides her desire of more. May has no desire, never even understanding it.
I heard an author a few weeks ago that the secret to a great story is participation. Jubilee Trail brings me into the New York society, the quiet life of a well bred lady and then her adventures quickly after her marriage to a trader, from a good Boston family, to New Orleans and "theater" that would have been forbidden to her in New York. The writing style from 1950, even though quaint, reading between the lines, I understand the old West.
I am so pleased with the choices I made Saturday. I think how decisions made can add so much to our lives. Pray to make the right ones in all things.
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