Thursday, December 13, 2012

Book Review: Our Lady of the Lost and Found by Diane Schoemperlen

I enjoy reading award winning literature. This book won the Governor-general's award for fiction in 1998. 

I read this book, for the first time, approximately ten years. After reading it, I placed it on my bookshelf. There it waited until, one day, it called to me. 

"Re-read me," it said.

And, so, I did.

From the dust jacket:  'On an apparently typical Monday morning in April, a middle-aged writer goes into her living room to water the plants and finds a woman standing in front of the fig tree. The woman is wearing a navy blue trench coat and white Nikes. She has a white shawl draped over her hair and she is holding a large leather purse and a small black suitcase on wheels. She is the Virgin Mary. Invited to stay for lunch, Mary explains that, after 2,000 years of petition, adoration, and travelling, she is tired and needs some R&R. She ends up staying for one extraordinary and illuminating week.

So begins Diane Schoemperlen's profound and original novel.'

Our Lady Of The Lost and Found is about Jesus' mother Mary but much more than that. It's about the recounting of history--the fuzzy line between fact and fiction.

'[T]here is more to history than facts, more to truth than reality... [T]his is a piece of knowledge that will change your life if you let it.' (p. 118)

And more.

'I finally understand that my uncertainty and my doubt where gifts that made me the perfect candidate for faith... When faced with all these mysteries and questions, I wanted to be able to admit that I did not know how to make sense of it all that, in the end, my not knowing did not matter.' (p. 253)

It's about the writing process.

'Although I had written these lines just twenty-four hours earlier, they now made no sense to me at all. I remember being excited by them. But now I could not remember where I had imagined they might be leading, what I had thought they might eventually amount to.' (p. 276)

Possibly this book is like a wading pool. Kneel down, peer in--what you see depends on where you direct your eyes.
Work in progress
I'm still working on revisions for The Sweater Curse:  a novel. But I've also made some headway on some of my other projects...

A Woman Like Her (sequel to A Long Way From Her)
Goal:  50 k words
Current word count:  1,149 words

No, Smoke the Other End (mystery/comedy)
Goal:  12 - 20 k words
Current word count:  1,797 words

Baby steps. : )

Next post:  Please welcome author Joan Boswell