Saturday, January 14, 2017

the last book I ever read (Moonglow: A Novel by Michael Chabon, excerpt six)

from Moonglow: A Novel by Michael Chabon:

That morning my grandmother had sent my mother off to school with an assurance that Velvet Brown would have her Pie. Even as the promise was tendered, my mother could not help feeling that something dreadful lay coiled at its bottom. Her mother, she knew, had endured terrible things during the war and after. She had been taken from her family, and then her family had been taken from her. The Nazis had also killed the handsome and heroic young doctor who was my mother’s real father and who was usually played, in her imagination, by James Mason. Her mother had fought her way through the confusions and indignities or life as a refugee, through homesickness, shock, mourning, professional struggle, and the storms of exaltation and fury that blew through her head with the inconstant rhythm of hurricanes. All this while never losing the air of cheerful bitterness that, for my mother, defined bravery. When my grandmother promised my mother a “Hallowsween horse,” her tone had been terribly cheerful. She would allow that she was not wild about horses—“I don’t have to love them,” she would tell my mother, “because you love them enough for both of us”—but my mother suspected that in fact my grandmother had a horror of them.

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