Sunday, June 03, 2007


The Messenger of Magnolia Street

I can't contain myself. This morning I finished reading one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. The beauty comes from the arrangement of the words, the use of the English language in a glorious way. The book is called "The Messenger of Magnolia Street" by River Jordan (isn't her name poetic?). The novel follows three main characters, Nehemiah, Billy and Trice, childhood playmates, now adults, who are charged with saving the town of Shibboleth from a misty, mysterious wasting away spawned by pure evil. From the very opening of the book, I found myself wanting to reread paragraphs just to savor the writing. I'd reread to figure out how River did it, how she captured me and held me, not just in the thrall of the story, but in awe of her sentence construction and word usage. You could take a pile of words and hand them off to various writers, but very few would be able to accomplish what River has with this story. There's a moseying to the story, even in the build up to the scary parts. While the scary parts clip faster, there's still time for rolling over sentences in the mind, repeating them for full effect.

When I started the novel, it reminded me of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird." Upon researching River Jordan, I found that her writing has been compared to Harper Lee's.

I'm going to be taking this book to my writers group in a week and reading passages to everyone for inspiration. Fabulous book.

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