Finishing a Book

On the Edge       Like most who like to read I have several favorite authors whose books I look forward to. When I finish one it is always with a sigh, as I anticipate a wait of one to whatever amount of years before the next one emerges from her or his pen. I was fortunate that when I discovered one of my very favorite authors, Diana Gabaldon, she had already written seven books in the Outlander series. I found her books so fascinating that I read nothing else for nine months. This is very unusual for me. However, it was justified.

          Now I have just finished reading her latest book, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. While I don’t normally read 814 page books, hers are a very special exception. They are written with a background of accurate information about the 18th century, both in America and in Scotland, and what it was like to be alive then. The characters are vividly portrayed and their interactions are authentic as well as interesting. Even though the size of her books is somewhat daunting, they are a compelling read.

          Her characters are extremely interesting. The villainous ones are seldom completely or gratuitously so; the well behaved ones occasionally misbehave. Moreover, her research into the time period she writes about is very thorough. I have learned facts I otherwise never would have known about the American Revolution together with its participants on both the British and the Colonial side. One of her chief characters, the heroine is a medical professional. Ms Gabaldon writes in astounding, sometimes wrenching detail about various medical procedures performed during the heroine’s adventures.

          One of my favorite ways to occupy my mind is to think about something I am reading. I find that this helps greatly to keep me from worrying, fretting, or otherwise engaging in negative thinking. The antics and experiences of a good set of characters is a wonderful distraction from not only the usually dreadful news of the day but also any concerns I may have about things I can do nothing about.

          One of the reasons I am sad to be finished with this current book, is that I more often than not thought about the intriguing characters when I was doing chores or performing other activities that did not occupy my whole mind. I greatly preferred wondering what was going to happen next or why one of the characters is acting in a certain way to being nervous or concerned about what was or was not getting done or happening.

          Diana Gabaldon says it takes her four years to write one of her “big books.” I am sad to have to wait that long to read the next. If I get too impatient for the next one I can probably reread this one, as it is so rich I have most likely missed parts of it. However I am still so full with it I haven’t as yet chosen another book to occupy my mind.

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