Much like yesterday, today’s topic is open to interpretation. It’s asking for a book that reminds me of home. I’ve talked about this before other places, but I don’t know that I ever have here on the blog. I think maybe I talked about it over at Amy‘s one time?
Home. That’s kind of a loaded word, isn’t it? What is home for someone who’s moved around a lot? What is home for someone who’s never really felt like they’ve belonged anywhere?
A Book That Reminds Me of Home
Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks. I talked a little bit about my relationship with the works of Emma Bull in a post that not many people read (here), and I know I mentioned previously that this is one of my All Time Favourites.
So, why does a book about a battle between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts in modern-day (well, in the 80s) Minneapolis remind me of home?
That’s really hard to say. I read this book for the first time at a really rough time in my life. I touched on it in that other post linked up there, but from ages 8 to about 15 were really really difficult for young sj. Home to me at that point in time was almost a bad word.
Home was a place I didn’t want to be. Home was a place that was full of fear for maybe doing or saying the wrong thing, or even just breathing wrong or making an inappropriate (and sometimes involuntary) facial expression.
I carried this book with me everywhere for several years. It had its own pocket in my backpack. I was living in a really rural town in NW Montana at the time – school was over 20 miles away – but because of the circuitous backroads routes needed to pick everyone up (and I was the first and last stop!), I’d have to be on the bus at around 6 each morning, and not get home until around 4 each afternoon.
That was a lot of time I could devote to reading. I read 2 or 3 copies of this book to tatters, and probably knew the whole damn thing by heart before things started to get a little better when the man my mother was married to finally left during my sophomore year.
I don’t even know why it (and the Bordertown books Mrs Bull contributed to with her husband) struck such a chord with me. I think because part of me wanted so badly to be Eddi. To have lived an overwhelmingly normal life for so long, only to end up swept away in a tidal wave of the fae.
I hoped that maybe someday something like this would happen to me, to maybe rescue me from the life I hated so much.
For a while, for young sj, this book was home. And that’s probably why it’s the only thing I can think of to talk about today.