Thursday, January 14, 2010

April and Oliver

So in the last several months, I am proud to say that I have read something else for enjoyment besides the Twilight Series...which I've read twice through. I have also read 3 other books worth mentioning. "The Time Traveler's Wife," "The Memory Keeper's Daughter," and "April and Oliver." I highly recommend all three books. But the one I think that impressed me the most was "April and Oliver," by Tess Callahan. It's a book about two childhood friends who have taken different paths in life, and who are forced back together by a family tragedy. Tension builds as Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student, finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April - and cracks begin to appear in his carefully constructed life. I loved it. Here's an excerpt from one of my favorite parts. Read the book, and this part will move you as much as it did me:

They've been on the road a good forty-five minutes. "I'm pretty sure we've passed the diner." She eyes him.
"I thought we might go somewhere else," Oliver says. "It's a place you might remember. Do you mind?"
"I can't keep my eyes open."
"It's okay," he says. "Go to sleep."
She turns the radio on low, bypassing many stations before settling on one. "Ah, Horowitz," she says, leaning back.
"That could be anyone," he says stiffly. "In fact, I think it's Serkin."
"Horowitz," she repeats. "Do you know he didn't start practicing seriously until he was in his thirties?"
"He was a prodigy. He didn't need to."
"He was tortured," she says. "Then he came home."
"Left home, you mean."
"I wasn't talking literally."
When the song ends the announcer sighs, "Ah, the moonlight is audible. That was Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, opus twenty-seven, number two, performed by Vladimir Horowitz." She feels Oliver glance her way but doesn't open her eyes. He knew it was him; of course he did.
To show his irritation, he switches to a commercial station. It's the Norah Jones song "Come Away with Me." April shields herself, telling herself it's just a pop tune, even though it cuts straight through her. She's heard it a hundred times in the bar, and every time she tries to shut the lyrics out of her mind before they crush her. She hates when a song can slice her open that way. Now, alone in the car with Oliver, she finds it excruciating. She prays not to cry. Oliver drives without speaking. The space between them feels like a living thing, with its own breath and nerve endings. She doesn't dare look at him. When the song ends, Oliver turns the radio off and they drive the rest of the way in silence.

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