Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Reading On Repeat

During the first week of August, this year as always, I can be comfortably certain that:

my black-eyed Susans will burst into bloom,
my grass will need almost constant watering,


my battered and beloved copy of Tuck Everlasting will fall into my hands for its annual read. 

Tuck is a story that takes place during the first week of August. The prologue opens like this:

The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. 

Those sixty-six words describe exactly, precisely, perfectly how I feel about the first week of August, and if Natalie Babbitt had written only them, I would still adore this book. 

But she didn't stop there. With luscious prose that drips with sensory images like a ripe peach, Babbitt weaves profound questions about life with magic from a fresh water spring, and creates a sweet, sultry story that comforts my heart like the cooling shade of a forest on a hot summer day. 

It is a book written, perhaps, for children. But any adult with even a drop of imagination will relate to ten-year-old Winnie's dog day doldrums, enjoy her roller coaster ride of an adventure, and maybe shed just a tear or two over the beautiful, painful decision she must make. 

Heaven forbid that I should ever have to choose my favorite book. But if I was forced to narrow it down to my top ten, or even my top three - I'm quite sure that Tuck Everlasting would make the list. 

And every year during the first week of August, I would read it again. 

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If you'd like to read my 2015 review of this very same book, go here
Please take note of the black-eyed Susans and thirsty-looking lawn. 

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Read more about what I've been reading:

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