Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Reading Journal Entry: The Good Neighbor
Although this author has a beautiful way with words, I did not find the plot itself particularly compelling, but it was just a necessary vehicle for the characters anyway. Every one of them was a bit strange in a Garp-like way. The Baltimore Sun recommended it "for readers who enjoy the eccentric and rambling family narratives of John Irving." That was in a review of Eddie's Bastard which I haven't read, but it certainly applies to this book, too.
A young NYC couple happen upon a 150 year-old house in Pennsylvania and buy it for two very different reasons. Colt wants it as a status symbol of his huge success in the stock market, while Francie sees it as a way to gain the peace and solitude she feels she needs as a blocked poet. Scattered throughout the narrative are glimpses of the Musgrove family that built the house and lived in it for several generations. When Francie discovers an old cemetery and a hidden journal, she is entranced by the previous inhabitants, but Colt is repelled by the idea of dead people on his property and has the bodies exhumed. This leads to some unexpected consequences from their neighbor and to a marital showdown as well.
I wrote the review on a piece of vellum. It was printed with rosebuds that you can barely see. I used a green Copic Multi-Liner pen 0.1, which worked just great on the vellum. I had previously painted the background green, so when I decided to use these pages for this spread, I added darker green strokes to simulate grass. I found the tombstones on the cover of a book about doing genealogical research. After cutting around them, I adhered them at the bottom with double-stick tape, but used some foam tape at the top to make them stand away from the page just a bit.