Kiplings’s first snow experience…traversing the Japanese bridge.
She slipped a bit and I loved Zippy’s watchful eye (here he’s laughing at Kipling)!
The view from the bridge and back to the house with Mt. Erie in the background…a daily walk for Zippy and Kipling. Now for the book recommendation, please enjoy:
There is no other word for it. It is a true account, but it’s my truth alone. I tell you this at the start, for while I regret the end, I will no doubt justify the means and this must not move you. I have come to see I’m incapable of drawing clear moral distinctions. For me the question of what can or cannot be done has never been an ethical one. There is no line I cannot smudge with my thumb.
— opening from In Malice, Quite Close by Brandi Lynn Ryder
When I begin to read a debut novel, the very moment fills me with the most anticipatory thoughts, and, especially curious in a story that comes with such high praise and the promise of a scintillating journey to different, unexplored places. In Malice, Quite Close, by Brandi Lynn Ryder, is a hardcover published by Viking. I read up on the wonderful background of the book. From writing to publication, the author went through her own gauntlet of heroic tasks to see this gothic mystery take its final published form, enduring the long editing process, and submitting to contests. Years in the making, it’s a knockout home run.
I hope I can do my little part to share the news, promote the intricate narrative, and reveal the lush writing of Brandi Lynn Ryder. The cover art alone intrigues me, and the bonus is that the novel deals with art and the creation of art; also madness, since no novel about artists is ever complete without touching on a certain compulsive insanity. As most of you who read my Posts know, both my mother and father were artists (and my dad’s still creating). They met in grad school in Iowa, both following their creative muses. Growing up, the thrill of a gallery opening was an almost yearly pleasure, especially as kids, because all five of us Bogdanovitch children knew there would be cool, fancy people attending, and really good art-crowd food (Mom? What’s uh whore’ derve?) And even that statement fits into the intricate set-up for In Malice, Quite Close, where there is a gallery opening for an artist who may or may not have painted the surprising nudes that capture the secretive nature of one of the main characters.
“Ah. The worst fears have no rational cause mon chaton. It was simply always with her. I did try to teach her to swim once.” His eyes were fixed on a point beyond her, on a picture from a past she could not share. He gave a short, sad laugh. “She was like a cat in the bathwater. Within two minutes she was out again. Phobias are strange, crippling things. Like obsessions, I suppose. Addictions. There are things that choose you; they are not chosen, and not so easily abandoned. I know this from experience, Nicola.”
Brandi Lynn Ryder