Tuesday, April 5, 2011

An Unknown Gem

The most recent book I finished reading was Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller and it was fantastic!  The only reason I've even heard of this book was because it showed up in Amazon's "customers who bought this item also bought" feature, but it needs to be better recognized because it really was a great little book. 

Miller's book, written in 1972 and set in the early 19th century, is about two women in early America who fall in love.  The story itself is pretty basic- they fall in love, it's hard, they persevere.  But what really makes this book wonderful is Miller's lyrical writing style and the believability of the relationship she builds between these two women.  The narration of the story flips back and forth between Patience and Sarah so the reader really gets to know both women equally.  I don't know how many times while reading this book I thought to myself how alike these women were to my girlfriend and myself.  Both women would express concern that perhaps the other wasn’t as in love as she claimed to be because she wasn’t smiling as much as usual, or she broke away during a kiss.  These little things may seem so trivial but these are the kinds of worries that surfaced during the early stages of my relationship…at least on my end.  But as each woman worried about the reciprocation of their love, they shamelessly professed their adoration for the other.

Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book was that it was a fiction piece inspired by two real women: Mary Ann Willson and her companion, known only as Miss Brundage.  Willson was a 19th century American painter and Miss Brundage was recorded to be a "farmerette".  I had never heard of these women before, but just knowing that this story was based on two real life courageous, pioneer women made reading this book an even richer experience.

Quick Facts
Pages: 225
Most quotable passage: "I wanted to say 'No, I never loved her, no I never kissed her, no I'm not her mate,' and I knew then which of us was Peter, and how Peter felt, and what made him deny the only light he'd ever known."
Sexiness Factor (1-10): 5
Buy It or Borrow It: Buy it!  It's wonderful!

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