Saturday, August 26, 2006

It is only 11 a.m. and I have been up for 6 hours already! I woke at 5 a.m., finished the book I was reading last night, did some grading, checked my email, took out trash, put on my new license plate, etc. and still was at the Human Society Rummage Sale and back home by 9:30 a.m. Found a magazine rack for $4 so I was happy. But, not happy when I drove all the way across town to Sam's and they weren't open yet. Steve thought that was pretty funny- something not open early enough for me. He refers to me getting up at the crack of noon. It isn't that bad, but 5 a.m. certainly is not usual for me.

Although it isn't the book I finished this a.m. I have to write about Alice Hoffman's Incantation. Can a reader fall in love with the prose of a book? If one can, I did. Hoffman's use of sparse lyrical and oh so-descriptive language feels rich on the tongue even when reading silently. I didn't think I could like a Hoffman title better than Green Angel, but Incantation is so stunningly painful but beautiful to read that it blew me away. I have always loved the different hues of blue, but the way Hoffman uses blue practically as a character makes me crave blueberries, aquamarine blue seas, and the deep lush midnight blue of an evening sky. Estrella lives during the Spanish Inquisition, initially with no knowledge that her family is one of the hidden Jewish families in their community. Her older brother is even training to become a priest. Everything changes when sixteen-year-old Estrella (Esther) and her best friend Catalina both fall in love with the same young man, who is "promised" to Catalina. Andres shares Estrella's feeling and Catalina betrays her friend as revenge. The torture and death scenes in the village square are difficult to read, but Hoffman beautiful portrayal of the love between Estrella and her mother and brother that this is just bearable to the reader. Burning Time by Carol Matas came to mind as I read Incantation. Both tell the tale of a daughter whose mother becomes a victim of the Inquisition, but for different reasons. Of the two, Incantation went deeper to the heart.

All for now.