12.29.2012

A Quiet Place

I had one of those picture book moments last week in the midst of the Christmas wait. I was doing a not so great job at stiffling some inner rage. Everyone was hungry, but the thought of heading to the kitchen to whip something up sounded tortuous. I wanted to run out the door and keep going. Somehow, instead of flinging objects against the wall, I plopped myself down on the couch. A moment later, Fiona dropped this book in my lap. It had been on our shelf for weeks now, but I had had no desire to read it. The Horn Book Magazine reviewed it recently so I knew it was a story written in the same vein as Sarah Stewart's award winning book, The Gardener, but I was still very apathetic about opening it up. As I began to read my anger melted away. I could have just as easily been sitting in my shrink's office crying out my feelings of injustice and hurt, but instead The Quiet Place soothed my soul without the hassle and commute. The publishers rightly label it as a book about homesickness. Young Isabel moves to the midwest from Mexico. She turns to her big brother, her auntie, and her "quiet place" to ease her loneliness and regain familiarity. After my own dear mother died there is a part of me that never feels completely at home. Isabel's letters brought tears to my eyes as I read of a similar type heartache and loss. By the end, Myles had abandoned his activity and was piled on the sofa with us listening to the climactic and joyful end to Isabel's story. This book was exactly what we needed.

6 comments:

Regina said...

Very nice blog post. Thank you very much! I just requested 'The Quiet Place' from the local library.
Happy New Year! Regina

emswell said...

Thank you Regina :) Happy New Year to you as well!

Terri said...

Thank you for the post about "A Quiet Place." And I remember when your parents read "Farmer Boy" to you and your family. They recounted to us the story of Alfonzo wanting cash for something at a fair (?)and his father using the opportunity to open his eyes to the value of a nickel. May we all, as parents, take advantage of teaching opportunities. (It is telling that my most vivid image from the book is the breakfast described in the first chapter). Love you!

emswell said...

Love you too Terri! I often think of that breakfast as well :) fried apples and onions, yum! Thank you for your warm thoughts and memories!

Mom and Kiddo (Erica) said...

I recently read this book and was moved by it, too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts at The Children's Bookshelf.

emswell said...

Thank YOU Erica! I am glad to know you :)