Literary Musing (No. 2)

I’m only into my second “Literary Musing,” and it occurs to me a more appropriate series name might have been, “Authors Who Intimidate the Heck out of Me,” but we are on this path and will stick to it.

Ordinary Grace was a  Christmas present from my oldest daughter quite a few years back. A present for which I am very thankful, because I wonder if I would have discovered this work on my own (not knowing the author at the time). Ordinary Grace is now firmly in my top 10 most-recommended-books. The official promo copy tells the premise better than I can … 

New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.

Told from Frank’s perspective forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.

The novel contains a cast of well-developed and complex characters who learn, grow wiser and eventually accept what they cannot change. There is a murder mystery that forms a secondary layer beneath this coming of age story. I’ve read some individual reviewers who state that it wasn’t a good mystery because they figured out “who-dun-it” before the end of the book. It is then that I want to yell, “Good for you sweetheart, but you missed the whole point.”

Points to the author for including this quote from Blaise Pascal on the dedication page. 
“The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.” 

Read well …Poppy

Literary Musing (No. 1)


We have moved twice in one year. It seems more like 3 or 4 moves as we are still searching for lost and misplaced items. Somewhere in the house (I hope) is a beat-up hardcover copy of Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. The dust jacket is long gone, the spine is wobbly at best. Sure I could buy another copy or download the Kindle version, but that well-read book is precious to me not just for the content and story (which are superb … more on that later), but for the hand written notes from friends to whom I have loaned the book. The front and back endsheets contain notes, reflections, quotes from the book, all signed by friends. This is especially poignant because if you would ask me what Lonesome Dove was about, I would not say, “A cattle-drive from Texas to Montana,” or “Two retired Texas rangers,” or any of a number of themes that emerge from the book. My answer to what Lonesome Dove is about would be, “Friendship,” the relationship, the philia love between Augustus McCrae and Woodrow McCall.

Larry McMurtry passed away on March 25, 2021 in Archer City, Texas … the same town he was born in on June 3, 1936. As an aspiring writer, he is one of those those authors who intimidates me. His characters are well rounded and complex, the dialogue is genuine and humorous. The environments are real, you can feel the heat, the dust, and the currents of the rivers. To say that Lonesome Dove is a western is like saying the Mona Lisa is a portrait.

If you haven’t read Lonesome Dove, put it on your list. If you’ve read it and would like to digitally sign my wayward copy; drop me a comment. When I find it, I’ll transcribe your comments to join all the others.

Read well …Poppy