Eleven years ago this June, my happy world exploded with the break-up of my then-partnership. I’ve long since re-covered and rebuilt my family and my world in a way that brings me tremendous happiness, so this isn’t a post about that long-ago break-up.
It is a post about this book.
Thrush Green was the first solace and respite I experienced after a miserable break-up. That break in the misery of the smash-up of my world gave me much-needed moments of peace. For someone who had always found comfort in books, one of the worst things about the break-up was the period when even books, my nearly lifelong companion, could not calm my savage feelings. And then, desperate for something, anything that was a distraction, I picked up Thrush Green.
It’s the first in a series of stories set in that magical English town. The novel opens on April 30 and closes at bedtime on May 1st. During that day, the much-anticipated Curdle Fair comes to town. As the day unfolds, the reader is introduced to the town and the people who live there. Their lives and concerns are both happy and sad but most especially they are ordinary. In this, the book finds its power as a story. Each time I read it I am reminded of the ways that our concerns, big and small, are important because we matter. I suppose that’s an obvious conclusion, but to me it’s not always been obvious. Thrush Green brought me that realization in an enduring fashion.
Reading the book reminds me of both the power of a good story as well as the truth of the adage that time heals most wounds. Time and Thrush Green healed my broken-heart. These days, the book reminds me to be gentle to both myself and others; to find a blessing in the every day; and to embrace that blessing as a sign of hope for a better future.
I needed that in my personal life in 2006. I need it now in the realm of politics, which seems more disheartening every day. Thrush Green reminds me to be vigilant in my caring and also to be patient in the face of distresses both big and small. At the close of novel, the matriarch of the Curdle Fair muses that she always feels better after a visit to Thrush Green.
I feel the very same way.