About 18 months ago, I came across several recommendations to Erica Bauermeister’s debut novel, The School of Essential Ingredients.
Any one of those sources would have been enough for me: I am a fast reader, of many genres, and I am always making notes on what to add to my TBR (to be read) pile.
When enough different sources (including my mother) recommend a book, I really pay attention.
As promised, it was wonderful. I’m now in the middle of Bauermeister’s second novel, Joy for Beginners.
It’s even better.
Normally, I wait to get to the end of a book to share favourite quotes.
I read this to Kim the other day, and it seems important to share here now.
In the story, Caroline’s husband has left her. She is at the beach house they shared, going through his things, with her friend Marion. Caroline asks why people do it, why they leave each other.
After a while, Marion gestured toward the ocean beyond the windows.
“I think love is kind of like those waves out there,” she said. “You ride one to the beach, and it’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever felt. But at some point the water goes back out; it has to. And maybe you’re lucky – maybe you’re both too busy to do anything drastic. Maybe you’re good as friends, so you stay. And then something happens – maybe it’s something as big as a baby, or as small as him unloading the dishwasher – and the wave comes back in again. And it does that, over and over. I just think sometimes people forget to wait.” (p.35)
And then last night, we watched Crazy, Stupid Love, with Steve Carrell et. al. (not the kind of movie we would normally watch).
It is certainly about a couple who forgot to wait, who had been together so long that the entropy of daily life took over, blinded them to what they cherished in each other. The movie is a lot about whether or not that wave will come back in again.
Ed and I took a long time to find each other; we are grateful every single day. We feel like the lucky ones, but we know it’s more than that.