As you may know, I LOVE books with a passion. When I was little, they were my refuge, my escape, my friends, and another home.
Whole new worlds, mind-blowing plot twists, gardens of delight, humans and animals who felt like kin, things I could only imagine.... they were all at my fingertips.
Over the years I've had many favourites. When I was younger, Middle Earth (The Hobbit), Narnia, Cornwall (The Dark Is Rising series), regions of Scotland (The Weirdstone of Brisingamen + The Hill Of The Red Fox), and isolated mountains (My Side Of The Mountain) were all places I loved to hang out (among many others).
When I grew up (supposedly), I still loved the genre of fantasy more than any other, although mystery, crime, and thrillers fast caught up. Wales took centre stage with the thrilling books of Phil Rickman (who's so nice he answers his emails with a great deal of wit), and various parts of Great Britain were visited via the anecdotes of Robert Goddard.
Fantasy went into the realms of Midkemia, The Wheel of Time, and the mystical and intriguing worlds of Charles De Lint and James Herbert.
All of these involved characters or places I felt deeply connected to in some way, and who became a part of the fabric of my life, at least for a while.
Of these stories and books, one, in particular, made me cry my heart out like no other.
I'm an animal lover from waaayyyy back, and feel a direct affinity with quite a few (owls and foxes for example). This story involved a link between a boy and an animal that was so intimate and connected that I could only wonder at what that would feel like.
I won't go into detail, because you may read the book one day, but the part of the story in question (which was one book into a second series) made tears stream down my face in utter distress. I was in bed reading, and had to stop. Even though I'd known this thing was sure to happen, I'd kind of hoped there would be a miracle and it could be avoided somehow (after all, it was a fantasy book!).
I had to compose myself after quite a bit of blubbering and snotty nose syndrome, but then cried again in the shower, on the toilet, and walking up and down the hallway.
A book, a story, a writer, can make you feel so much, in such depth.
Obviously, the telling of this tale struck a particular chord with me for various reasons, because my reaction was quite overwhelming. Looking back I think I know what triggered it (the death of my Dad years before), and it was all about the depth of a relationship and what it can mean when things change so horribly. And then, how we go on when we must, despite the desolation we feel.
The author expressed so poignantly the ways in which you can feel utterly bewildered and bereft by something, and yet go on to let the joy of something else co-exist with this sadness.
The book, in case you're wondering was by Robin Hobb. It's the 1st book in the second series about Fitz, his life, and the goings on in The Six Duchies.
The entire series, particularly that book, had quite an astounding effect on me at the time. And, the feelings lingered for quite a while.
There first series featuring the same characters was 'The Farseer Trilogy.' The second series, continuing on from where that one left off was titled 'The Tawny Man Trilogy'.
Is there a book in your past that has effected you deeply?
Do you know why?
PS. I've added this post to Open Slather over on One Mother Hen!