Monday, April 11, 2011

The Day of the Storm

by Julia Buckley
I write my posts on Sunday, and what I write here will be old news by Monday, but here goes:

I'm always blogging about storms, it seems. And yet, because Chicago is faced with a significant storm on the horizon (possible tornadoes, property damage, etc.) due to an unexpected 85 degree day in an otherwise chilly week, I am thinking about storms again.

In fact, while I was sitting here in my chair, indulging in online time with my trusty laptop (thank you, Santa), I was playing around with the title "The Day of the Storm," and wondering why it sounded so familiar. Eventually I realized it was because there was a book by this title written by my beloved Rosamunde Pilcher--she of The Shell Seekers fame. You can find the book at Amazon here.

It's not my favorite Rosamund Pilcher novel, but as far as I'm concerned there is no bad Rosamund Pilcher novel. And no, she doesn't officially write mysteries, yet she has slipped into my favorites list along with many mystery writers because her books contain those special elements:

--fine writing

--beautiful settings

--believable characters and conflicts

--warm and wonderful human stories

If you haven't experienced a Pilcher story, you should sample one or two online and get a sense of her special gift.

THE DAY OF THE STORM is a tale with a fairly Gothic structure: an orphaned girl must go to a wild and faraway place to find the truth. Amazon's summary is "On the last day of her mother's life, Rebecca learns she has a family in Cornwall, and sets out to find the grandfather and cousin she has never known. But only the enigmatic Joss Gardner, the outsider who seems to be the apple of her grandfather's eye, can help her understand the dark currents that lie behind her family's loving reception."

This is just a short little book--perhaps it was just a wee vacation that Pilcher took from writing much longer and signifant novels like SHELL SEEKERS and SEPTEMBER; yet for that reason it's a delightful distraction for a reader who hasn't much time.

Have I suddenly become Pilcher's publicist? No, of course not. But I just experienced that special joy of remembering an author I hadn't thought of in quite some time, and I'm sure you all know what I mean. It's like being given a present.

So, if I do have to sit in the basement tonight with the boys, the dog, the cats, and the husband, I think I'll take a comforting novel with me. And after all this, I'm thinking too that it will be a Pilcher story, and while the tempest rages I can pretend I am in rocky Cornwall, and the sea is battling with the sky.


Paul said...

I hope those Chicago storms didn't disrupt your life too much.

My wife loves Rosamund Pilcher and continues to try to get me to read The Shell Seekers. The Day of the Storm sounds a bit like Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

Julia Buckley said...

She really has something special, Paul. There's nothing overly adorned in her style, but she is obviously a born storyteller.

Whatever storms came happened overnight, but I haven't noticed any damage out my front window. :)

Anonymous said...

I think the storms missed us last night (I am also in the Chicago Area). One of the nice things about Rosamund Pilcher is how her characters show up in the different books. It makes them seem like familer friends.

Julia Buckley said...

That is nice! I was very surprised when I read September and saw a character from THE SHELL SEEKERS arrive at the party. You're right--that's a nice way for Pilcher to make us feel connected.