Sunday, December 28, 2008
Patty Jane's House of Curls by Lorna Landvik
Yes, this is my vacation and the way I unwind is to speed read. So, at the start of vacation I made a stack of books I hadn't got to - and I'm working down through the stack.
Lorna Landvik is another of my favorite authors - a good mid-western voice - lots of quirky characters, some heart ache, some tears both of joy and sorrow and a happy rather expected ending. Just what I need on a cold Sunday afternoon! Patty Jane didn't disappoint.
Patty Jane and her sister Harriet are the children of alcoholics - the connections between them deeper than some sisters due to this shared burden. Patty Jane falls deeply and soundly in love with Thor - gets pregnant immediately after their marriage and then Thor promptly disappears a few days before his daughter's birth. Meanwhile Harriet is swept off her tall and shapely legs by little portly Avel. Their love is deep and passionate. Avel, an older rich man leaves on a business trip in the months before their wedding and dies in a plane crash. Sound like a love story?? Or just a tale to compare your life to and come out on the winning side?
The book goes on from there. That's one of my favorite parts of Landvik's writing. Many books end as the heroine is left alone and empty -yet somehow triumphant. Landvik's story, like life, continues.
Patty Jane, Ione (Thor's mom), Nora (the daughter) and Harriet create a life for themselves in the beauty parlor attached to their house - the House of Curls. But, it's more than only a beauty parlor, they begin to offer classes on everything from the NASDAQ to art appreciation. And the women of the town respond.
Then Landvik really offers a punch - a mysterious stranger, a long lost and completely changed love and a nasty cancer death.
Again, the story continues...
Anyway, I loved it in the same way I love my ratty old sweatshirt and warm fuzzy socks. It warmed me up both on the inside and the outside - and yes I shed a couple of tears... :)