Why Read a Novel?

... to find the peace that comes from getting your heart broken.

Sunday afternoon, sitting on the deck. Sunny, cool breeze. Voices in the distance, coming from a a nearby porch. I think I recognize a neighbor’s voice.

I finished A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, and it broke my heart, and let me out of this cage of responsibility and obligation that I put myself in.

I’m free, and my heart is soft. Oh, how can I stay in this place? How can I come here more often? I wept, briefly.

For god’s sake, Margaret-in-the-future. Drop the ball. Walk off the court, just for a bit. Reach out for one you love. Put yourself in the way of tears.

And what else to say? The breeze moves the lavender cosmos blooms. The sun touches feathery leaves and shines through translucent petals that face away from me, toward the light.

My neighbor Mary just got home – I heard her car pull in, and now the water runs in her kitchen.

A woman in black carrying a lime green bag walks past on Lincoln Street.

A black SUV with a big long-haired white dog sticking its head out the back window passes on Lincoln Street.

A tiny spider, the size of a pin head, floats by on the breeze, heading to its next place, wherever the breeze takes it.

4 thoughts on “Why Read a Novel?

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  1. It took me three tries before I made it through ” A Gentleman in Moscow”. In the end I loved the book. ” The Book Thief” was another challenge. “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” was a quick and wonderful read for me. I weep through books of Mary Oliver poetry. Robert Frost fills me with longing and nostalgia. At the moment I am reading “Downtown” by Pete Hamill. Today I thought geez I should move to New York. Thank you, Margaret, for sharing your tears with us. I am glad I am not the only nut on the tree.


    1. Thanks, Carolyn, for sharing some of your reading journey. I think there are lots of nuts on this tree! We don’t necessarily know who’s out there, because we’re all so busy reading. 🙂 It’s good to share about it every now and then.


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