Sunday, June 12, 2005

Gee - I had daydreams of paying off bills and my daughter's car with my lotto winnings! Don't you just love those online come ons that make you think you won something? Watch out for one with a email address. Supposedly I won a million dollars!

I have been working on a "wish list" for the library at Montessori - such fun to spend someone else's money. I know some of it will be purchased - like the new fans to help with the heat, but much of it will have to wait. Will finish that up this afternoon. Can't wait for the IT person to get the Destiny software loaded so I can starting setting up the patron accounts, etc. for next year.

Stunning is the first word to come to mind when describing Tim Bowler's Firmament. It was published in England in 2002 and in the U.S. by Simon & Schuster in 2004. It had been on my "to read" shelf and I kept moving past it because of the strong music/piano element. I am not a big classical music fan and I knew from reading the blurb that the main character, Luke, is a music genius. I am so glad I finally opened it up and began reading. I feel in love with Luke and with Bowler's writing. He had me from the the first few lines: "He didn't see her; but he heard her voice. It came whispering on the dusk like a dark dreamy echo: a young girls voice, so light it was like hearing the voice of a spirit in the trees of Buckland Forest behind him..."

What Luke is hearing is a blind little girl crying for her mother and her father. Her grief is as deep as his own in relation to his father's death. Luke is still at the anger stage of grieving and has gotten himself hooked up with the wrong gang and doesn't know how to break away without having every bone in his body broken in the process. The gang leader, Skin, is not someone to cross - when he says he'll kill you he isn't joking. Luke breaks into the old woman's house as Skin insists. What he finds there is not money or jewels, but is just as unforgettable - an old bitter ugly woman and a beautiful little girl - blind and mentally handicapped - terrified and lost in stream or tears. Luke begins to play the piano to sooth the little girl and becomes her "funny ears" - a boy she can touch but cannot see; who she trusts because of what his fingers can do on the keyboard. Through all of this Luke can hear the elements of nature singing to him - the trees, the grass, the music. Notes have colors of their own and Luke is overwhelmed with what he hears and sees inside of his head. Answers will be found in Buckland Forest, but not before Luke's career as a pianist is almost taken away from him.

This is a gotta read in my opinion and now I want to read his Carnegie winning River Boy, as well as Storm Catchers and Midget. I shame-facedly admit I am late to discovering Bowler, but he's got a new fan! Where is that charge card to buy them on B&N? :-)