Monday, 30 May 2011

Dark Horse

By my friend Margie.

I have just recently finished this lovely read, Dark Horse, by my friend and former professor. I took her fiction classes at Ball State University when I was just a wee young'un and I have to say I learned a lot in her class. She'd assign short stories for us to read and then have quizzes on them the next day, and these quizzes were always difficult. She made sure you read thoroughly. One question in particular stumped me and the rest of the class, when reading "The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams.

The question:

Where does the conflict take place?

My answer:

The kitchen.

The correct answer:

The little girl's mouth.

And that is perhaps one of the very best examples of how truly subjective the act of reading is. Two people can see two completely different things in one text. It's really amazing. I think because the class groaned collectively at this question, she ended up accepting just about any answer, as long as it wasn't something like "the circus" or "the moon," which would only go to show that the person answering never read the story.

But back to Dark Horse. I am really proud to have this book and to have read it because not only did my friend write it but it is also a heart-wrenching collection of stories that, together, make one story. They are beautifully put together and masterfully worded, and I use so many adjectives here because they really are necessary! I can practically smell the Indiana wildflowers now, even as I think back over the stories. Each one offers a humble and emotive experience of late 1930s to modern day Indiana life. This is a stunning book about young girl, Emily, coming of age and reconciling the differences between herself and members of her immediate family. And there are horses involved and I obsess over them to the point of wishing in vain for one every Christmas since I was about eight years old, and never getting one, so must satisfy my passion by drawing pictures of them on every available surface love horses, so this one gets two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

I am happy to add this to my ever-growing list of Vee's Highly Recommended Books.

Also, in case you are wondering... my current rejection count: 10.

Happy bank holiday Monday everybody!

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