Sometimes books are about a plot line full of conflict and suspense, but other books quietly tell the story of a character. The Truest Pleasure by Robert Morgan falls into the latter category. Telling the story of a young Appalachian girl’s marriage and family, this book is full of wisdom and great characterization. The ultimate message, in an Ecclesiastical way, is to appreciate the important things in life. At first the narrator strives for spiritual connection and euphoria while her husband seeks pleasure in making money and expanding the land. Neither are happy; even though their pursuits are individually noble, their dreams don’t draw them closer. Only at the end of the novel does the narrator realize that the truest pleasure is to love those around her.
Mission accomplished. After a long dry reading spell in which the only literature I’ve read since Christmas is my grad school textbooks or sophomore English novels, I have finally read a book, erm play or essay or short story thing. To make it simple, I read Silas House’s The Hurting Part which is a short story turned play turned essay set in 1960 America.
In the story, a young couple leaves all they know in Kentucky, including their daughter, and move to Ohio in an attempt to earn some money. The plan is to save money and return to Kentucky eventually. Centered around Christmas, the play showcases the sorrows of four individuals who left their homes to move to Ohio. Beautifully written, the play easily moves between the present and past with the use of dual stages.
The script is written so well that I could imagine the scenes playing out. I only wish I could see this play in person.
Now that I have broken my slump, I think I’ll stay in the Appalachian genre by re-reading The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver.