I recently reread Anne Tyler’s Ladder of Years. I hope I’m not revealing too much (about myself) by telling you that in this novel mother and wife Delia Grinstead acts on an impulse to walk away from her family. Eventually, she returns, and Tyler does an excellent job imagining both the humor and the tragedy of the situation. In a late chapter, Delia reflects that she hadn’t known her children would so entrance her. She doesn’t mean a doorway-type entrance, but the trance, the spell that our children cast on us. Delia has come to understand that the wonder she felt at her children’s birth was also a full-body — full-life?–invasion. She’s been under their spell ever since, and it’s a spell that (like all complex relationships) is sometimes wonderful, and sometimes…oppressive, scary, overwhelming.
This morning my husband generously cooked pancakes (his special cornmeal pancakes) for our girls and four of their friends. It was quite a scene, and all before Annie had to be whisked off to Bellingham to work at the church nursery there at 10:30, and then get resettled in her campus apartment. (I get to stay home and write.)
Anyway, this morning I’m thinking about things that entrance me, including my kids and their friends (and I loved having them here this morning, by the way).
What entrances you?
Oh boy, that’s a good question. I guess I’m entranced by good books like the one you just described. I like Ann Tyler’s novels and have read most of them. I guess you could say her books entrance me.
Abbie–I LOVE that feeling of falling into a book, between the lines into the story. I think that’s why we read. Tyler’s The Accidental Tourist is probably my favorite of her books, but I’ve been wanting to reread Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant for the same reason. Maybe that feeling of transport — of being entranced — is what she’s describing there?
One that’s on my mind: the romance of having a perfect multi-course Italian meal with really good wine. It’s so overwhelming that now I have to go to experience it, instead of being able to make it myself. No, I am being serious.
I’ll go with you! Does this mean Italy? !
that’s GO OUT to experience it….
I’m in the middle of this book, It entranced me that you just read the same book that I am loving so much,