Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Finished Children of the Storm by Elizabeth Peters last night. I have been reading her books for 20 years and they still make me laugh. Man, I still remember reading Crocodile on the Sandbank for the first time. I must have been bugging my mom about not having anything to read and wanting to go to the library, so to shut me up she told me I could read one of her library books - Crocodile. That might've been the first real adult book I read. It was certainly the first adult book I checked out on my own. A few months after that I wanted to read it again and asked Mom to check it out for me but she refused (she had reached her checkout limit) and with one offhand sentence she opened up a whole world of books to me. She simply said, "go check it out yourself." I'm sure she doesn't remember and would laugh if I told her about it, but that was a total epiphany for me. All of a sudden the library changed from a small room of kids books that I could check out and endless inaccessible shelves where Mom hid from us for an hour to row after row of books that I was allowed to read. Anyway. By this, the 15th book in the series, the cast of regular characters has grown to encompass grandchildren, in-laws, friends, illegitimate relatives, and various locals and workers. I can't imagine someone making head or tail of all the connections without the background from the previous books. (There is a forward that sketches the family lines, but it doesn't include all the nuances that you get from the books.) Because of the large cast of characters the action isn't in the forefront this time around, but the personalities and family dynamics are enough to keep things moving. And I still wanted to cheer at the end.

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