Monday, January 09, 2012

'The Magic Room' ...

One of my goals for the new year – not a formal goal, but a "Yeah, that'd be good" – is to read at least a book a week.

I've gotten far away from reading books. Magazines? You betcha. Long-form writing online? Yup. But books, my long-time beloveds, have languished.

Jeff, my very-prolific-author friend, always sends his latest book to me. Reliably, the day a book drops, clunk!, there it is in my mailbox, too. It's very generous of him, very kind.

And so it was, a couple of days after Christmas, when The Magic Room: A Story About The Love We Wish For Our Daughters arrived from UPS.

Jeff had this book in the works when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot last year. Jeff has become the go-to guy for quick-turnaround books from notable folks – Randy Pausch, Capt. Sully – and likewise he was tapped to help Gabby and her husband, Mark Kelly, tell their story. Gabby arrived in stores (and in my mailbox) November 15th. I started it, but the holidays took over and, well, reading didn't happen much.

But once the holidays had passed, I picked up Gabby again. And then The Magic Room arrived. And I found myself holding a book from Jeff in each hand.

I decided that I would read Gabby when I had time during the day and that I would read The Magic Room at night, before bed.

Before I knew it, I had read 90 pages of The Magic Room. And then last night, I read 90 more. And then I noticed the time. So I went to bed, but then I couldn't sleep, so I read until nearly 1 a.m. And I didn't much want to stop. But I did. And then I finished the book while I sipped my coffee this morning.

It's very sweet, well structured, with interesting stories to tell from the brides-to-be. (The Magic Room is a converted bank vault in Becker's Bridal in Fowler, Michigan, which has been run by the same family since 1934. It's paneled with mirrors to allow brides to step up on to the pedestal and see themselves from all angles and into infinity.) Jeff did a great job selecting a mix of brides: some younger, some older, some widowed, some divorced.

I fell in love with Meredith (awesome photo of your bridal party, woman!) and tried to understand Erika. And I cried when I read the recountings of all of the brides' weddings. I am a sap through and through.

Jeff had been trying to find the right hook on which to hang a book about love.

He found it.


Anonymous Meredith Kauffman said...

Thanks Beth - My bridal party was looking great that day!

I also, loved the book. I trusted Jeff with my story(a piece of my heart) and he told it (and those of the other amazing women) with care.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

You were all gorgeous (and handsome) and I love the casualness of the shot and the setting.

Jeff is indeed a very trustworthy sort and gifted storyteller. It was sweet of him to pass this link along to you and nice of you to comment. Your story really resonated with me.

11:39 AM  

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