Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mildly Regretful

Last night one of my favourite authors was doing a book reading at the public library and I didn't go.  It was attend, and live without bread, milk and lunch foods, or, go to the grocery store after the kids were in bed and miss the reading.  Unfortunately the grocery shopping won out and now looking back, I'm wishing that I had gone to the reading instead.  Who needs to eat?

The author was Gail Bowen, who writes the Joanne Kilbourn mysteries.  You may have seen some of her books turned into CTV movies starring Wendy Crewson.  I think I watched only one of the movies and found it to be such a wild departure from the book that I never watched another.  The books are much better than their screen adaptations.  What I really love about Bowen's books is that they are set in Saskatchewan and I recognize many or all of the places she describes.  Such as, "Murder at the Mendel".  I've been to the Mendel!  How fun is it to go to a place you've read about and recognize it from the descriptions!

The books are engaging and weave the day to day of life into the bigger story and mystery plot.  Bowen's descriptions of Kilbourn's everyday responsibilities such as shopping for rubber boots for her kids or making a meal for her family, makes the story feel much more realistic and identifiable.  It may seem like a small thing, but I once read a book set in India in which the heroine spent a good portion of the story complaining about the heat, dust and sweat, but never once mentioning that she had showered, bathed or even washed her face.  By the end of the book I felt like my own skin was crawling and it totally ruined the story for me, it was all I could think about!  How hard would it have been to say, "after a refreshing shower, and a change into clean clothes, she continued to...".    I know, I'm so uptight/Type A/OCD, take your pick!

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