So for all my whining about the beginning, I had a hard time putting Lost Nation down. As off-putting as I found the main character there was some good writing in that book. And I appreciated that Jeffrey Lent was able to craft a character so deeply, deeply flawed without trying to glorify it. Oh, sure, there were points where the author definitely tried to give him some humanity, squeeze a bit of sympathy from the reader, especially in the OMG BIG REVEAL at the end, but I guess that’s hard to resist.
(The end, by the way, was garbage. It would have been fine, maybe a bit open-ended but nothing too serious, and then he tacked on an awful epilogue. It was so awkward and so out of place and 95% of it was about characters who had never been in the story previous to that point. Who cares? Seriously.)
At any rate, it was nice to read again. I picked up another one today, The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies. I’m about 60 pages in, so far so good. The writing isn’t as pretty as Lost Nation, but none of the characters make me want to commit violence (yet) so I guess it all evens out.
Looking back, I should have picked up a short story collection and started alternating between novels and stories, but I’ve already started this one. I’m not yet at the point where I can read multiple books at one time. That’s just craziness.
This morning I got up bright and early and went out to the farm. On the way I stopped at Target to get a legal pad in case I felt like writing (couldn’t find one! can you even believe it!), and ended up getting some materials to send out journal submissions. I spread out a blanket and laid in the sunshine and read my book and took some pictures. What an exceptional start to the day.
Partying tonight with some MFA folks. It’s sad to think some of these people I may not see or hear from again for a very long time. Weird to think I’m getting closer and closer to the “after” part.