Tuesday, August 09, 2011

First Paragraph -- The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted

Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the first paragraph of her current read. Anyone can join in. Go to Diane's website for the image and share the first paragraph of the current book you are reading.
This week, I've dived into a book set in the same place as my new novel: Provence, France.
Anyone who reads my blog knows about my French obsession. I think I've read every fiction and memoir set in France and I'm always hungry for more, which is how I picked up The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher. The author also writes as Juliana Baggott and has a website here. Here are the first few short paragraphs in Part One:
Ever since Henry's death, I'd been losing things.
I lost keys, sunglasses, checkbooks. I lost a spatula and found it in the freezer, along with a bag of grated cheese.
I lost a note to Abbot's third-grade teacher explaining how I'd lost his homework.
I lost the caps to toothpaste and jelly jars. I put these things away open-mouthed, lidless, airing. I lost hairbrushes and shoes -- not just one of a pair, but both.

I've already finished Part One and am starting Part Two. I keep stealing moments to read this book, and not just because of my obsession with France. She hasn't even gotten to France in Part One. I'll share with you my favorite part so far. She touches on incidents that help explain her relationship with her husband Henry who died two years before in a car accident. They had one of those sweet, we-are-one relationships, or at least that's the way Heidi, the main character, remembers it. Here's my favorite scene so far:
One night, lying in bed together, about a month before Henry died, my calf seized. I shot up in bed and cried out, "Leg cramp!"
Henry was almost asleep. The room was lit only by the hall light. He said, "Your leg or mine?"
I was flexing my foot, rubbing the knot violently. "What do you mean, your leg or mine? How would I know if you had a leg cramp?"
Henry was quiet for a moment, and then said, "You're right. My leg feels fine."
The truth was that Henry and I had grown so close that sometimes it was hard to know where one of us began and the other ended. We'd been together for so long that most of our memories were the same film, just different camera angles, and from years of playing the memories, even the camera angles were mostly blurred to one by this point.

I told Grace about this scene this morning and we both ended up laughing. I'm not sure if I'd want a relationship like that. Earl and I are both definitely separate people, but that is easy for me to say since I still have him. Who knows what I would think if he one day disappeared.
I'm definitely going to keep reading this book. What do you think? Did it hook you?


DCMetroreader said...

I haven't heard of this one before, but I really like the parts you've shared!

Lucia said...

I like it. I keep picking up books at the library that I think I'll like based on the inside blurb in the cover (I can't remember what that's called for the life of me) anyway...they keep boring me to tears after a chapter or two.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This one is new to me, but YES I would read it -- it seems sad and my husband's name is Henry as well :(

I'll be looking for your review.

judi said...

sounds like a keeper.

Delana said...

I'd read it....3 cheers for a kindle in France. But like you, I'm not sure how I'd feel about being that intermingled with a man. They get sick, they die, or they go away...then you've got to go on some crazy journey to try to find the pieces of yourself that are missing. It's just too exhausting!

Vicki said...

I'd definitely want to read this one!

My husband's name is Henry too!

Here's Mine

JoAnn said...

I was hooked as soon as you said Provence!

Linda said...

It's on my Amazon wish list so I'll read it one of these days. I always like to see how other people see Provence.

aguja said...

Yes. I can see that this is definitely one to read.
Thank you!

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