At first I resented South of Broad for not being Beach Music. I missed the town, the time, and the characters in all their peculiar, finely drawn specifics. But then I surrendered. I find I have to do that when I really fall for an author and want to read everything he or she has written. I have to let go of one storied trajectory and put my faith in another.
Sometimes it does not work and the magic of one book is too binding to allow transgression into another written in a near but not congruent voice. Sometimes the reader/author love affair requires a long break so that the soft focus process of erosion can set in. In this case it was a leap from lily pad to lily pad and the resentment was fierce. But then I tasted South of Broad's own brand of homemade magic elixir. It is majestic: marvelous and whole and consuming. It asks question of friendship and how your history is held in public trust by those who were there and who love you. It explores the completeness of lots thrown in together when you are very young.
In other news: bang, it arrived on my doorstep. Touchstone (now just Touchstone with a lovely new angel winged, reaching firefly sort of insignia and no longer Touchstone Fireside) Spring 2011 Catalogue. I opened the first page first page is for the Black Eyed Peas singer. The one with the name I can never remember. The second page is for Exit the Actress. Nell landed up on page two! I am thrilled. It is getting realer and realer.