Everyone has a happy place, the scene that comes into view when you close your eyes and let your mind transport you to the dot on the globe where life is cozy, safe, warm. For me, that place is the bookstore, with its emerald green walls and the big picture windows that, at night, frame the stars twinkling above. The embers in the fireplace burn the color of a setting orange sun, and I'm wrapped in a quilt, seated in a big wingback chair reading a book.
I open my eyes quickly, the stark white walls beyond my hospital bed reset my frame of mind to reality. The thin sheet draped over my body is stiff and scratchy, bleached one too many times, and I shiver as a nurse places her icy hands on my wrist.
"Didn't mean to wake you, honey," she says, fastening a blood pressure cuff around my arm.
June Andersen is professionally successful, but her personal life is marred by unhappiness. Unexpectedly, she is called to settle her great-aunt Ruby's estate and determine the fate of Bluebird Books, the children's bookstore Ruby founded in the 1940s. Amid the store's papers, June stumbles upon letters between her great-aunt and the late Margaret Wise Brown, author of Goodnight Moon. Sarah Jio offers a suspenseful and heartfelt take on how the "great green room" might have come to be.So, I wondered, what does any of this have to do with June being in the hospital? I kept reading. I also noticed that both book covers show "embers in the fireplace burn[ing] the color of a setting orange sun." See that?
Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. Click here for today's Mister Linky.