Obviously, I like to read many different books but it’s rare I find the kind of book I like to read. The Great Unexpected, for me, is that kind.
I like books that have a sort of ‘grounded magic’ (I just made this up.) And when I say that, I mean that I like books that feel magical, through the music of their prose or the way they dance through an experience. These books don’t have to take us to foreign magical lands because the author or the characters see this life, this world, as a place of wonder. A place that is magical enough.
In this book, a boy falls from a tree and a reality is shaken at the same time that the event bridges a connection. A girl ‘goes to the moon’ and it’s not a physical journey but, instead, a new perspective, a way of looking down and asking what ‘truth’ is, what ‘real’ means.
I like the humor in this book as much as its seriousness. I like the voice, the way it questions and yearns. But I really like the wonder in it. The magic.
I can’t share thoughts about Sharon Creech‘s work without sharing the beauty of her words and the complexity of her ideas. So just one moment (of many) here:
I told Nula the story of the knight and his glimmering armor and the golden woods. She said, “Naomi, you know that is a story, don’t you?”
“But what is ‘a story’? It’s in here now” — I tapped my head — “with all the other stuff, so maybe everything is a story.”
It is hard to tell, sometimes, where a story ends and a life begins and where memory fits in between. I like the idea that they might all share a space together without distinctions.