I finally opened my book box a couple days ago. I missed my books, what can I say? My friends don’t have lots of adult books here, and the one book they have out–Getting to Happy by Terry McMillian–I read two weeks ago in about four hours. So I needed something to put my mind on.
I should be careful what I wish for.
I took out three books (actually seven, because one of the books is an omnibus with four books in it). I motored through the four-in-one in a day, and settled in with Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice.
Yeah, the one about the castrati singers. I first bought the book when I was about 14 (my mom had stopped buying books for me in the hope I would turn my eye to things that “normal teenage girls” wanted, so I’d use my allowance to buy them. I felt like I was hiding a drug habit). At that time, I loved Anne Rice; I had just read Interview with the Vampire and had seen the movie, and so wanted everything she had ever written. The other reason I picked it up was because I liked the title; it sounded full of desperation. The summary inside the flyleaf said Italy, and I was sold, I having had (and still possess) a mad desire to go to Italy before I died.
But the book sat in my to-be-read pile for years, and I bought and read other things. I didn’t think about it again until I was 16 and it fell off my bookshelf one day. I read it, and I liked it. I loved the descriptions of Italy and the descriptions of the palazzos and Carnivale in Venice. I rated it an A+, and put it back until the next time I wanted to read it again.
Only I lost it. I could not find it, though over the next 14 years I searched and re-searched all the books I have. It was nowhere, and I was angry as I don’t like losing books.
Last summer I was in the bookstore looking for books to buy and Cry to Heaven leaped out at me, basically demanded that I buy it. I don’t question when books do that, so I bought it again, knowing that I liked the story the first time I read it, so would like it still.
And…it was different.
Yes, I still loved the descriptions. Yes, I was still as in love with Italy as I had been the first time around. But the love story between the main characters touched me more deeply than it did the first time. Seriously, this story leaves me in tears every time I read it. Every single time.
And here I am, reading it again–and yes, crying over it again. Damn story affects me this way for some reason. I’ve read plenty of love stories; I cut my reading teeth on bodice-rippers, so it’s not the fact that it’s a “love story” that I find so affective. Other love stories don’t draw this level of emotion from me. I leave them feeling happy and content that the people I’ve come to care about in the course of the story are/will be happy. I don’t leave those stories feeling raw and sobbing. The story ends on a hopeful note, and it still makes me cry!
I don’t get it.