Though I don’t tell authors I appreciate them as often as I should, sometimes I can’t help myself. I sent a letter to Katherine Paterson after hearing her speak, a big, rambling, gushy thing. Another to Betsy James when I found out there would be a third book in her Seeker Chronicles. One to Tracey Porter to tell her she got the dancing world just right. One to Ellen Potter to thank her for her compassion.
Some letters I haven’t written and probably should have. Others I can’t write because the author is long gone. There was one I wrote a few years ago to Suzanne LeFleur about LOVE, AUBREY. One I wrote last month about Amy Timberlake’s ONE CAME HOME.
There’s the one I wrote today:
I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so involved as a reader. The way you gave us opportunities to think through possible encounters, to think back to what had happened in book one, to anticipate — all of that was art, an active art. And then all you had to say about travel, about the kindness of strangers, the unity we can feel in chance encounters, will and fate, accidents and effort, the discoveries we make in our own families, our own wholeness and how others can contribute to our discovering this, living life vs. letting it happen to us — it was marvelous.
“I am a part of everything I’ve read” Theodore Roosevelt said. It’s true. And I am so very grateful to the authors who have made my life richer, fuller, deeper through the books they’ve created.