Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Carol Shields: Still Read and Still Missed


Every time I'm in the library, I take a moment to run my hand along Carol Shields' books.  It is my little tribute to her memory and the loss I feel; how many wonderful books did we miss out on by her death at a comparatively young age.  I adored The Stone Diaries, loved Larry's Party and also enjoyed Unless.  I am so happy she did get so many awards and the Pulitzer Prize as well; she deserved it all.
Imagine my surprise when I realized I had not read this one of hers- The Republic of Love.  I really don't know how this missed me.  But what a find.
I am not a romance lover, not in movies or in novels.  I will reluctantly watch a movie but I don't ever seek out books that are of that genre.  So I wondered how this so-called romance story would work for me.
  I realized an important point, the story is almost irrelevant; it is the strength of the writing that carries this particular novel.  And it is precisely that that drew me in and kept me reading to the end.  What a gift Carol had, to be able to write with such attention to detail, but yet not extend it to the point of boredom.  I like this manner, this description of the ordinary; there is a quietness to such writing that I enjoy and find satisfying. It is so much like my own life I guess so I identify. 
 And as for Fay and Tom, two supposedly ordinary, but to me, wholly interesting people...will they be star-crossed lovers or live to be a 'happily-ever-after' couple?  You'll have to read the book to see for yourself.
This novel has been made made into a movie of the same name.  Despite it being billed as a romantic comedy, I would give it a try just to compare with the book.  Seeing as how not a lot happens per se in the book, I'm curious what would have been culled together to make a movie.  I've never seen the movie available anywhere  so...