One month from today, you too can enjoy Waiting for Unicorns. Here is a glimpse of how it is hitting us as we read an advance copy.
The current read aloud at my house is apparently pretty good. I haven’t been around for much of it at all. I think a partial chapter at the beginning and now a chapter from the middle.
Paula reads it to our children, and you can hear the different voices of the characters as she reads. This work of fiction, though, is deeper than words and the paper they are printed on. She tries to hold back tears as she reads and she has to pause at times to swallow and continue. You know a story is impactful when these kinds of things happen. I put a hand on her leg, affectionate support, as she reads out loud while we drive. There is a resonance in this story that plucks a string of pain in her heart. “This book…” she swallows back more tears. She continues to read and my own heart is wrenched. I know the pain in her heart, and I can hear it in the words she reads, so descriptive and poignant. We’re at a part where the protagonist is remembering things. Hard things to remember, memories so real they feel like they are happening again as you recall the details, and the detail is lined out in this text. I’m there in the room that is described as Paula is reading. The world fades away, and it’s just me, the protagonist, and her mother. I feel defiance rise up in my throat against the threats I’m hearing joining with the story and the struggle, and tears well up in my own eyes as the picture of love that is being described in my ears. It is dangerous for me to drive like this. I’m going to have to pull my life over to experience the entire work in its fullness. A tear escapes Paula’s eyes and narrowly misses the rim of her glasses as it rolls down her cheek and onto the seat belt across her chest. This is real. The most real fiction I’ve heard in some time.
Thank you, Beth.