Sunday, December 14, 2008
An Amazing Novel
Good morning. Hope the sun is shining where you are. It will be here in NH today but right now it's below zero. The sun isn't very far away and I'm sitting in the lavender dawn.
I finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle Friday night around midnight then it took me about an hour to get to sleep because I just kept thinking about it. There is so much more to this story than just plot.
It reminds me of the begonia plant I have in my kitchen window. It's been taking its time to blossom: one flower opening slowly at a time, releasing it's beauty until now when the whole plant is covered in blooms.
The more I contemplate this novel, the more I get out of it. Take the names, for example. They play a major role since it was Edgar's job from the time he was little to find the perfect names for the dogs his family raises. He took it very seriously, combing the dictionary for words that would convey the pup' personalities.
And even Edgar's last name is significant: saw and tell. One we do with our eyes and the other with our mouths. Only, Edgar can't speak. He is mute although his hearing is fine.
On the back cover the book is described as part Hamlet and I couldn't help making comparisons. Hamlet's uncle is Claudius and Edgar's uncle is Claude. Hamlet's mom is Gertrude and Edgar's mom is Trudy.
Then there is the writing. I was so impressed with the simple yet fresh descriptions. All the words fit the character of Edgar so well. At one point as dusk approaches, he says that a few stars started volunteering. Surprising perfection!
I'm glad I took my time with this one to allow the treasures to present themselves one exquisite flower at a time.