I’m on a great roll with picking up books that can hold my attention enough to read them in just a few sittings. That is the best way to read a book, I think—it really changes the experience for me if it takes me a long time to finish something. I think that’s why I love short stories so much. You usually get to experience the story the way the author intends. It’s funny, we’re much more aware of this when it comes to movies, but we don’t think about pace as much in terms of books.
My latest one-day conquest is Lisa Moore’s February, a real gem. The book centres around a true event in 1982, when the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank off the coast of Newfoundland during a Valentine's Day storm. All eighty-four men aboard died. February is the fictional story of Helen O'Mara, widow of one of the drowned men. The narrative jumps back and forth from the present-day to the days surrounding the tragedy in 1982, with occasion forays to the early days of Helen and Cal’s relationship, and the years between. Helen and Cal were very deeply in love, and the loss of that love is abrupt and paralyzing. Left to raise four children on her own, Helen is haunted by the fact that Cal’s death could have been prevented had the men received the necessary training. The structure of the book and the emphasis on time shows time does not heal all wounds; but, eventually, it allows one to move forward, incrementally, scars and all.