May 29 was my mother’s birthday. She’d have been 88. This year I’d have given her “TransAtlantic”, Colum McCann’s new novel. I’m not sure if she’d have liked it, but its Irish-American connections would have intrigued her, and we’d have debated his prose style. I also might have bought her “Dear Life”, by Alice Munro, who is herself in her 80s now and still writing wrenching, beautiful stories.
It was such a pleasure not only to talk books with my mother, but to buy them for her, something she never did. I mean, never. Why throw away good money–even on something as vital to you as food–when you could get them for free? When I work at the library, the bent old ladies who come in to pick up their reserves always make the tears spring into my eyes.
When we were growing up, Mom never read to us. She never recommended books, or asked us what we were reading ourselves. I’ve thought about this many times, wondering why. I wrote about it here. http://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/my-mothers-secret-by-tricia-springstubb/
Happy birthday, Mom! Your peonies are in full bloom.