22 September 2011


So, my mom's a reader. A huge reader. She'll read just about anything, and she totes her books around in her tote bags and purses everywhere she goes. She is never without a book. Or her Sudoku puzzles, but that's something else altogether. She and her sisters will get on the phone just to talk about what they've just read, what they're about to read, and "Have you read this one yet?" If they travel to the big city together, they never head home without stopping at Half Price Books. Or Wal-Mart. Or the grocery store, for that matter.

One book I remember seeing her read when I was little was Catherine Marshall's "Christy." They even made it into a movie! Hollywood did; not my mom and her sisters....

Or was it just a mini-series for television? Probably that. And the main reason that even got my attention was because Kellie Martin had the starring role, and I was a huge fan of her and Life Goes On.

Fast forward a decade or more, and I'm moving into Aunt Freida's house. I discover the treasure trove of books left behind on a bookshelf in the hallway. As I'm perusing, I run across a turquoise, hard cover edition of a book named "Julie." I immediately thought of the resemblance to the single-named "Christy," which I've still never read. And what do you know...it's by the same author.

The book made the move to the country with us, and I've just finished reading it. Not so much because the summary on the back page drew me in...not so much because I'd heard great things about it (never heard of it, period)...not so much because I had a pet named Julie as a child...not so much because I had a best friend in 1st grade named Julie....

No, more because I absolutely could not pass it on or donate it without reading it first. It would drive me absolutely up a wall not to know what happened between those turquoise covers. I had to know. I had to be in on the secret.

And the secret? It was okay. I was entertained as I read about the beauty of the "olden days." When everything was proper and right and polite. Not the olden days of butter churns and log cabins and feed sack dresses, but the olden days of girls wearing skirts everywhere and no technology and everyone happily asking and giving permission to walk down to the soda shop with Biff.

I surely wasn't expecting it to be a story about a girl who makes it her goal to find out the mysteries and secrets of some huge, natural-built dam, for crying out loud. Is that weird?

Of course it is.

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