What do you remember about a book you've read? Is it a character, a plot, or a specific scene? I suppose that you, like me, remember different things from different books and from some books, nothing at all. I want to talk about images that, once implanted in your mind, never leave it.
For example, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women , was the first book that left me with lasting images. Of them all, one scene of the March girls and Laurie frolicking in the snow has remained with me since I was ten. I can still see it plainly--the picket fence, the deep snow. I can feel the chilling temperature and hear their shouts and laughter. I was there.
Another unforgettable image is a scene by Daphne du Maurier from one of her Gothic novels, perhaps Rebecca, but I no longer remember the book's title. In the scene, the heroine was attempting to eat a piece of meat and it moved on her plate. She lifted it up and the underside was covered with maggots. I can feel the horror of that discovery as if it happened to me.
A later scene from A Few Hours of Sunlight by Francoise Sagan remains in my mind years after reading it. In fact, it inspired my poem titled "So Quickly Comes the Dark" whose first line is the title of Sagan's book. It is a sweltering summer day and the hero and heroine are making love in an attic room. They are bathed in perspiration which leaves wet imprints of their bodies on the rough sheets they lie on. There are no explicit descriptions or dialogue, only the stifling heat and silence accompany this illicit encounter but the image was so powerful that I recall it vividly even now.
What makes a lasting image? I don't know the answer. I only know what has lasted for many years from numerous books I've read. I hope you will think of a special scene that has meaning for you and share it here. And if you have an answer to the question, please share that with us, too.
This will be my last post here before Christmas so I'd like to blatantly suggest that you consider the holiday books below for those readers on your Santa list. All are available in ebook or print at prices that won't damage your shopping budget. Find LINDA SWIFT in Books on Amazon.
From Thanksgiving through New Years, enjoy the holiday season.