In truth... I'm sort of loving the colors, sort of not sure.
What do you do when you're not sure? I've decided to finish it, and hope I love it when it's finished. If not, ah well... it's a small accent pillow that will likely be an overlooked footnote in my decorating - certainly, not the focus of anyone passing through the family room. I will say I am loving the teal color. And am thinking a teal throw across the back of the red family room couch this winter would look awesome. I don't want to use this yarn, though - just not sure how it would hold up for a blanket - so I may be looking for something else in that vein. Then again, I really need to not be buying more yarn...
Okay...next up is a book review, but before I get to that, let me explain a few things...
A while back I decided to re-home a bunch of what I'd call young romance novels. Nothing embarrassing in the lot, just stuff I was pretty sure I wasn't all that interested in reading at this stage in life. For some reason I hung onto this one and last weekend I picked it up before giving it the old heave-ho, thinking it would be a quick decision.
I don't know how many times I have to learn to not judge a book by its cover, or its genre, or its companions... The cover alone is unappealing to me. It evokes thoughts of a lonely Amish girl from some nondescript time gone by. Now, I have nothing against Amish fiction, but I'm not particularly drawn to it either, and thinking it was a love story taking place within an Amish community is largely why I never got around to reading it. Nevermind that if I had simply looked at a map I could have seen that Liberty, Indiana is nowhere near (or on the path to) the beautiful northern countryside where there are some lovely Amish communities.
While the uninspiring cover alone was enough to stop me from reading this (until this past weekend), you'd think the story line would have gotten a pass. I had just finished The Last Runaway by Tracy Chivalier (a book about the Quaker community and their involvement with the Underground Railroad). When I read the first line of this new book, "Quakers in Union County, Indiana, were active participants in the Underground Railroad..." I uttered a low moan. While I had found it all pretty interesting when I read Chivalier's story, I really wasn't in the mood to read yet another book on the topic - not so soon. And not one with an uninspiring cover.
Well...was I ever in for a surprise. And a lesson on judging a book too quickly. Melanie Dobson is a fine story teller (from what I've read so far). She paints pictures with words that make me feel like I'm sharing the same tight quarters the runaway slaves lived in - sometimes for days or even weeks before their next transportation, or a dark enough night sky to make traveling by foot safe. Dobson also gives dignity to those same terrified runaway slaves, causing the reader to immediately connect and identity with a character. Nevermind that I've never gone to bed in dirty clothes I've worn for weeks, or fallen asleep fearing that in the morning I might find myself shackled to a horse walking my way back to the horror I had spent desperate weeks running from. I can almost imagine my sweat-stunk person laying against cool, clean floorboards; or can almost taste buttery biscuits served in the attic room; and I feel myself breathing a cautious breath of relief when danger passes.
In short, I'm impressed. In fact, I would say I like this book over Chevalier's. They're each captivating in their own right, but Dobson's book makes me feel like I'm reading a book that has more value as a true historical fiction than as a romance story. I whole-heartedly recommend it. And I'll probably be looking for more Melanie Dobson books to read in my future.
Now if someone could just do something about that cover...
Linked to Ginny's Small Things
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