Saturday, 21 March 2009

The Blue Jay's Dance

Just managed to squeeze in another old favourite before I begin re-reading Jane Austen. For some reason I always get the urge to re-read an Austen novel in the spring. The Blue Jay's Dance by Louise Erdrich is a kind of diary of a birth year in New Hampshire. The book contains accounts of bonding with a new baby, recipes for steamed fiddleheads and anise apples, anecdotes about the wildlife and plants around the house and musings on the conflicts between motherhood and the writing life.

I loved the story of the wild calico kitten who hides in the crawl space underneath the house, the planting of morning glory seeds around the doorway and imagining the ropes of 'celestial' blue flowers to come, the little daughter who sleeps with a beloved caterpillar on her pillow, the punctual woodchuck who stops for her lunch of clover at exactly the same time each day and the purple finches - state birds of New Hampshire - who look like 'sparrows held by the feet and dipped into raspberry juice.'

My Bridal Crown white narcissus bulbs (in the photo) have produced flowers which appear to resemble crumpled white tissues. Most peculiar although not unattractive.


claire said...

You always make every book sound so beautiful.

kristina said...

This sounds wonderful. Definitely adding to my to-read list. I do miss New England terribly in the spring and fall. K x

Vintage Reading said...

Claire, I'm just fortunate to have discovered Erdrich's work - about 10 years ago, I think.

Kristina, I'd love to visit New England. Hopefully I will one day.