Cynthia White | Submitted to the Pioneer Review
OK, anyone who doesn’t find reading a better solution than our current weather is not of this planet. Last week we thoroughly enjoyed hearing Lloyd Green tell us about “11-22-63.” If you missed it, I’m sorry – Lloyd was smashing! Anytime we think if only we could have a chance to redo something in the past, we need only follow the storyline of this Stephen King novel to convince us that you can’t muck around with history.
On Feb. 9, we will hear Delores Metcalf tell us about “Wintering,” Peter Geye’s story of winter in a far different part of the country. A highly acclaimed novelist now gives us a true epic: a love story that spans 60 years, generations’ worth of feuds, and secrets withheld and revealed.
Per the publisher’s description, “The two principal stories at play in Wintering are bound together when the elderly, demented Harry Eide escapes his sickbed and vanishes into the forbidding, northernmost wilderness that surrounds the town of Gunflint, Minnesota—instantly changing the Eide family, and many other lives, forever. He’d done this once before, more than 30 years earlier in 1963, fleeing a crumbling marriage and bringing along Gustav, his 18-year-old son, pitching this audacious, potentially fatal scheme—winter already coming on, in these woods, on these waters—as a reenactment of the ancient voyageurs’ journeys of discovery.
“It’s certainly something Gus has never forgotten, nor the Devil’s Maw of a river, a variety of beloved (possibly fantastical) maps, the ice floes and waterfalls (neither especially appealing from a canoe), a magnificent bear, the endless portages, a magical abandoned shack, Thanksgiving and Christmas improvised at the far end of the earth, the brutal cold and sheer beauty of it all. And men hunting other men.
Now, with his father pronounced dead—Gus relates their adventure in vivid detail to Berit Lovig, who’d spent much of her life waiting for Harry, her passionate conviction finally fulfilled over the last two decades. So, a middle-aged man rectifying his personal history, an aging lady wrestling with her own, and with the entire saga of a town and region they’d helped to form and were in turn formed by, relentlessly and unforgettably.”
If that doesn’t pique your winter funk, then you aren’t trying.
On March 30 at the library, we will review the Virginia Read selection of “A tree Grows in Brooklyn,” by Betty Smith. My friend Pat Schaad said she was the first person to read this book in Colusa County in 1943. Leave it to Pat to earn that distinction.
We miss seeing many of you at the book club. The best discussions are the ones that bring in more points of view. See you in February.
The Colusa Book Club meets on the dates noted above at 6:30 PM in the Morse Conference Room of the County Library, 738 Market St. in Colusa. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.