The other day, magic arrived in my mailbox.
It came in the form of a manilla envelope, Handle with Care etched across the front in machine-printed black ink, the return address, written in excessively neat print, was The North Pole and wonder of wonders, it was addressed to me.
When I opened the package, I discovered a Christmas card signed Santa -- in July -- and the UK edition of Therese Fowler's Souvenir. It's no surprise that someone knew I wanted to read this book, that a stranger somehow tracked down my address, or even that someone was able to get their hands on a book that's been published in England only (so far). What is remarkable is that someone did it. Even more boggling, that she sought no credit for having made such a Herculean effort to spread heapings of kindness into the world. Magic, the fairy godmother kind.
For those of you who regularly read this blog, you know how eager each of us is to read Souvenir, but it isn't being published in the U.S. until February 2008 -- as the lead title for Ballantine, mind you. Part of our eagerness is we all adore Therese, which is an odd concept considering none of us has met her, we've simply read each other's blogs and found in Therese a voice and spirit that inspires a sense of kinship. I was intensely curious to read her book, though, not only to learn more about her -- there is the old chestnut about a memoir being mostly fiction and a novel mostly memoir -- but like you, I love a good book. And I don't want to gloat, folks, but two hundred pages into it, boy, have I got my hands on a GOOD book! A review when I'm done. Now, getting back to the magic. After I opened the package, I immediately opened the cover and read the dedication, "This one is for Mom, whom I like to believe was reading over my shoulder." The timing was uncanny, I understood exactly.
Scanning a newspaper these days, it's hard to believe in much of anything anymore, that goodness even exists. So when it arrives, sent through the mail, borne of a connection originating over the Internet, made with a virtual stranger who knows things about me people I see everyday will never understand, it makes me believe again. Believe.
Thanks for the magic, Larramie.