Friday, June 30, 2006

Madame Mirabou's School of Love


It's been a while since I've been here. I took a totally unplanned week off from blogging. I still checked out my friends' blogs daily, but just didn't have a whole lot to say on my own. I had stuff brewing up there in my head, and I think I was afraid to let anything spill out that I might need. Some of you may know how that goes. I will blog all about my lost week, but first I must tell you about this book.

I picked up "Madame Mirabou's School of Love" by Barbara Samuel on Sunday evening. I was in Richmond with friends, and we simply HAD to get to the bookstore. There is more to that story, and it will be in another blog. I needed some unread books, new blood if you will. I'd read most everything in my house a few times, and really wanted something like springtime, breezes blowing after a rain, flowers blooming. FRESH.

I remembered this book from the HW/SW blog. Jenny Crusie talked about the cover. I have to agree with her, it is FABULOUS. There is just something about this cover that makes me LONG for a claw-footed tub and a bottle of Ms. Clairol. It's not sexy, this cover. It's beyond sexy. It's sensuous. That's not a word that I use every day, and it is generally reserved for something needing highest praise. This book's cover earns the word, and then some.

The book lived up to the cover.

Yes, that sentence is it's very own paragraph. You don't get much more to the point than that. I can't tell you much about this book, because I want you to go out and buy it. Today. And read it all at once. Tonight. I don't say that about many books. This one warrants it.

Nikki/Nicole is reeling from her recent divorce. She's moved into an apartment complex full of other recent singletons. She is struggling with betrayal, and loss, and fear. She is middle-aged, and feeling it. She feels adrift, and disconnected from what is now her life. These are common themes in books today, and I wasn't expecting anything much different from the hundred other books (yes, literally!) that I read every month.

I was transported to Colorado, breathed in the crisp air, marveled at Pike's Peak, tasted the wholesome quiche from Annie's. I ached for Wanda and Roxanne, Nikki's new friends. I could see them as MY friends (in fact, I know a Roxanne, and they are similar in many ways). My stomach fluttered with Nikki's as she rediscovered dating and the singles scene.

Nikki loves to mix scents. She has a nose that can identify smells. She creates exotic and personal perfumes. It's her passion. It became my passion as well. I could smell these things that she described. I felt transported to picnics, and walks, and lazy afternoons with my children. The way that the author uses words to create the feelings and memories that the smells evoke for Nikki was nothing less than breathtaking for me.

Ok, I can't tell you anymore. You just have to buy it. And tell me all about how you got lost in the pages, how you found something of yourself that you'd forgotten. How you discovered something new. It's all in there. I hated it when I reached the last page. Nothing tells me a book was REALLY GREAT more than that feeling of despair in my gut when I realize it's over. I finished this book an hour ago, and I still have that feeling.

Bye now. I'm off to read it again.

1 comment:

Michelle Hulse said...

Ok, I'm going to give this one a try . . . that is, after I read Between, Georgia, which is now out and available. Thanks for the suggestion, it sounds like what I'm looking for right now.