Each time you read a book, you read it differently. At least I do. With the Poisonwood Bible, I read the first time for the story, the second for the luscious writing.
Recently I happened upon Emily’s Quest, the third in the Emily series by L.M. Montgomery. I remembered from my teens Emily’s great friendship with Teddy and her various other attractions. This time, guess what? This reading was totally different. I had no recollection of her angst about her writing. And how I related.
–her three o’clocks “that found her wide eyed and anguished.” (37)
–her daylights “that found things less tragic and more endurable” (38)
–her “dream-world into which she could escape” (40)
–the elation of finishing a manuscript: “Finished–Complete! There it lay….her first book. Not a great book–oh no, but hers–her very own.”
–rejections: “their readers had found some merit in the story but not enough to warrant an acceptance.” And the doubt that follows. (55)
–times and agony of no writing, of feeling she can’t write (8, 65, 115)
–the joy that she knew she could write (116)
–her “mania for scribbling” (3)
It goes on and on and I enjoyed every bit. I felt I was hearing Montgomery’s experience and somehow it was comforting. Who knew?