Falling in Love

A couple times in my life I’ve avoided falling in love. The first time I was aware of doing it was in 1985, which was a watershed kind of year for me: I had a breast cancer scare (that turned out to be benign); My father went into a steep decline and died; A six-year long relationship finally crashed and burned; I met the Mathematician; I started field work for my doctoral dissertation; and I saw a movie that I tried not to see.

The Eric Garden was a tiny theater on Nassau Street in Princeton, just across from the university. I didn’t often have money or time for the movies, but then one day I saw a new movie poster to the left of the ticket booth.  Recall that this was long before you could google a movie trailer to see what it was about, so the poster was all I had, but on that basis it was clear to me that this was a movie I would adore.

Look at it, this object of my reluctant admiration. I still get a flush when I see it, all these years later.

The odd part: I simply could not make myself buy a ticket and go inside. I waited until the last day of its run, and then, sure enough, I was very put out with myself for waiting.  I would have happily bought another twenty tickets and seen it twenty more times. Assuming of course my graduate school budget had stretched so far. Because I waited, it was a couple years before I could see it again, but I thought about it, a lot. 

So now this phenomenon has repeated itself, but this time with a novel. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society came out in 2009 so it has been about eight years that I’ve successfully avoided reading it. I somehow knew that I would love it, and so I stayed away from it. 

I’m here to confess that again, I was wrong to wait. I just finished it, at 2 a.m., and I’m kicking myself because now I know that The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is one of those novels that I will re-read every year. I’ll start feeling lonely for it first. Then the story will keep intruding into whatever I’m thinking about until I  give in, sit down and read it again. There are maybe six novels and just as many movies that have this ability to kidnap my attention.  

As I just finished reading this novel, I need to think about it for a while before I’ll be able to put into words why I like it as much as I do. Of course that will mean reading it again. Once or twice, at least.

10 Replies to “Falling in Love”

  1. “now I know that The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is one of those novels that I will re-read every year”
    “nods” That’s one of the ones on my list that I find myself craving at least once a year. I’ve passed it on to others and they adored it as well. I read her second book “The truth according to us” which is good but doesn’t quite have the same magic.

  2. You’re funny. The movie theatre is still there. Now, across the street from it, there is a tremendous ice cream shop called Thomas Sweet’s. If you ever come back to Princeton I will invite you to what ever is playing and buy you a cone! (Loved both the movie and the book).

  3. I will second CCR in MA’s recommendation of the audio version. Some novels are meant to be listened to; this is one of them.

    I wholly understand the phenomena of having to re-read certain books periodically because we miss them or crave their company. I feel that way about Into the Wilderness.

  4. I closed this message and went to the online library and borrowed the audio book right away. I listen in my car in the 40 minutes to and from work, and while I knit. I loved this book so much a listened to it again. I cried, I laughed. I loved it.

    And I absolutely LOVE the Wilderness series. I love all of the characters. I love Kate Reading’s voice reading it. While I was waiting for the next books in the series to become available through the online library I would listen to other books read by Kate Reading and I kept waiting for her to say Nathaniel or Kayen’ke hatka or something from one of your books.

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