There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and a tired man who wants a book to read. ~G.K. Chesterton
I'm about to pay the biggest---and possibly the most outlandish---tribute to a book in my history of literary praise.
I've loved a lot of books, fallen for a ton of fictional characters. Countless stories have been engraved on my mind and heart.
But in the wake of the recent passing of my son-in-law, something landed on my heart with such a soft, loud touch that I was compelled to share it.
A book. A character. A friend.
I reviewed this novel before, but this mention of it is something different. A proof positive that books really are our friends, like they say.
This week, following the loss of my loved one, I found myself walking in circles, trying without success to focus on something, anything. I didn't feel like writing, but at the end of the day, I craved the pages of a book to escape into.
But which book? I couldn't bear tragic themes but I wasn't ready for happy themes either.
Instinctively, I marched to my room and plucked my copy of Notturno by Z. A. Maxfield from the bookshelf.
By instinctively, I mean there was no other book in my mind to choose. I mean the book, the characters, seemed to stand there on some imaginary sideline, waving me over, inviting me to wrap myself up in them. To comfort me.
I'm not doing a review of the book again. This is not a plug for the book, although it just might accidentally seem to be. LOL.
And I'm not showing you the sumptuous cover to promote the book...
And I'm not including a LINK to the book as a means of pimping the novel, either.
Kenko Yoshida said, To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations - such is a pleasure beyond compare.
And, for me, Notturno is THE book that fits this sentiment for me. Right now, while I'm restless and wondering, this book has BEEN my intimate converse.
The author knows that one of the characters, the beautiful vampire Donte Fedelta, is my favorite fictional being of all time. She does NOT laugh at me when I gush over him, when I tell her I knew him the moment I met him in the story.
Ms. Maxfield knew, as I did, that sometimes fiction really IS a hand reaching to us from not-so-imaginary worlds, a brush with something familiar deep down inside us. Souls connecting by the written word.
So the friendship I sought within the pages of this book---this vampire story to top all vampire stories---because, in my heart, it WAS a friend, an intimate one. And it is only a book. Go figure.
So thank you, Z. A. Maxfield, for creating this world for me. A world that, as you well know, I've enjoyed many times already. But now it holds the distinction of being the only book that became a solace, a literary hug of sorts, when I sought it. Now that is about the highest praise I, personally, can bestow on any collection of written words.
Lord! when you sell a man a book you don't sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night - there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book. ~Christopher Morley