This week’s challenge is: story. When I look at this photo of my boys, all I see is a story that is just beginning.
Hot summers are simply made for light novels that transport the reader to different and, preferably, cooler climes. Jenny Colgan, the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop on the Corner, provides just the ticket in The Café by the Sea. Flora MacKenzie must return to her childhood home on the fictitious cold, stormy isle of Mure off of Scotland. Her London law firm wants to win an American tech billionaire as a client, and he does not want the view from his Mure home obstructed by a proposed wind farm. So, Flora is sent to discover the islanders’ thoughts on the billionaire and win them to his side. Unbeknownst to her firm, however, Flora fled her childhood home years earlier when her mother died, burning her bridges with her family and community as she left. Furthermore, she also has a terrible crush on her detached, self-absorbed boss, Joel. Can Flora mend her fences with her family, impress the client, and finally catch the attention of her boss? Although a little predictable, the characters and setting of Café will charm readers and provide an entertaining diversion during this hot season.
(Originally reviewed for a free copy of book for Manhattan Book Review.)
“Rather, they point to what St. John of the Cross indicated as the most vital question at the end of our life: ‘Have you loved well? Was everything that was done, done for love’s sake?'”
This week’s challenge is: Out of the World. The idea is to “an invitation to explore the world around us as if it were new and mysterious.”
“Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”
— Georgia O’Keeffe
I have absolutely no progress to report this week. My youngest son ran a high fever for five days until a second trip to the doctor and an x-ray revealed the cause: pneumonia. The good news is that he responded quickly to antibiotics and began improving within two days.
I thought about racing into my office today and tossing together my last bracelet, hurriedly coloring another project, or attempting to get a few rows of knitting done, but I didn’t. I spent this week just exactly how I wanted: reading aloud to my son by the hour (The Mad Scientists’ Club, Stuart Little, The Swiss Family Robinson), making a dozen trips each day up and down the stairs for ice water, and checking his temperature through the nights. When the antibiotics began to work, I caught up on some much needed sleep.
The point of my project is to enjoy what I have. To race today to meet some imaginary deadline defeats the purpose. If I were feeling particularly philosophical, I’d say the urge to do so is simply my perfectionism rearing its ugly head in a new and different way.
And so, I report honestly that my project didn’t move forward this week, but it will next week. Until then. . . .