This one – and I’m not kidding – made me cry. But in the good way.
I read this book, all the way amazed by the vitality of the writing, all the way trying to label it, to encase it in some sort of genre. I have decided to call this realist idealism. No, they are not mutually exclusive in my book, and believe me, when realism and idealism meet, spectacular ensues.
The protagonist (Tess) “looks like shit” most of the time and works as a cleaning lady and her love interest (Brian) has a construction company. They are working class, real people with even more real problems that make our real lives look absurdly fictional. They deal with abuse, drugs, absent parents, abortions, beatings and death. Still, although they live in a seemingly endless ”cold, cruel, frigid winter” nobody ever stops waiting for spring.
Tess drinks a bit too much, without apologizing or trying to make it look cute. But Tess is also an artist who sees the world in crayon and paint colors.
“I still can’t remember his name, but his hair was Goldenrod and his eyes were Sky Blue.”
For me this sentence was convincing enough. If it isn’t for you, then read further.
With her self-worth crushed to nothingness from childhood, Tess finds the strength to defend aggressively the ones she loves. She fights with God for them. Because Tess remains pure and beautiful all throughout a life in which she obsessively cleans offices, her past, bathrooms, sins, kitchens, a path for the future.
“The next day I cleaned, all day long. First my apartment, scrubbed every inch of it, from ceiling to floor. Then Brian’s. I called Laura at work, begged her to let me watch Cassidy at her house after school instead of mine so I could please clean something there,[…]”
I needed to do a lot of re-reading, a lot of going back to the same passage to understand exactly what was that about, because this author assumes her readers are of the intelligent sort. And I love it when somebody thinks of me like that.
This is the kind of book that I like: not a fast read because it is too thought provoking, multi-layered and simply beautifully written. And besides being beautifully written, the story flows seamlessly like a good movie, pulling the reader in that universe for a good amount of time, much longer than it takes to only read the book.
I could write more about the leitmotif of flying, falling, landing hard, the symbolism of the hard soil and the spring, the counting, or the the repetitive phrases of internal dialogue that torture Tess. But I’m gonna stop now, because I just finished reading the book and I am too overwhelmed and because I want to let you find the scattered beauty in this novel on your own. It’s a good book, if you don’t mind reading through a haze of half-shed tears. Just until the last fifty pages or so. Those you read shaking through an overflow. It’s a good book to read while we’re all waiting for a spring of our own.
Thank you Lori.
7 thoughts on “Lori Tiron-Pandit’s review of Waiting For Spring”
Wow – that’s quite a review!
Good work, Lori!
(And very well deserved, Kel… oh those last few pages!)
“I needed to do a lot of re-reading, a lot of going back to the same passage to understand exactly what was that about, because this author assumes her readers are of the intelligent sort.”
I know how it is to dumb things down.
Never concede to that mandate unless you are forced to oblige. And even then, don’t do it.
What makes your writing so unique is the simple fact that you are writing from the heart and connecting thru that most vital organ, as opposed to blasting a litany of bullshit in order to be “readable”. You are very readable. Believable too. You
should be very proud of that review!
kelsmiley Fan Club President wannabe………….
Thanks so much, Z and KC!
Sweetums!!!! You know, don’t you Stan, that my book would never have existed if not for you. You got me writing again on that damned board when I thought I’d forgotten how to do it.
JUST GOES TO SHOW, YOU CAN BE A GREAT AUTHOR,
AND A GREAT PERSON, AT THE SAME TIME.
I’ve come out of lurking to say that I agree wholeheartedly with this review. My book club spent the month of December reading Waiting for Spring, on the recommendation of a fellow member, and began our discussion of it the first week in January. We usually take just a month for discussion, but here it is the first week in February and we’re still going strong. And we’re loving every minute of it too.
What I love so much about the book is that it is both beautiful written AND realistic. Painfully so at times. I like what this review called it, “realist idealism.” Also there is alot of symbolism in the book but it doesn’t feel forced. For an example, last week our club was talking about Brian’s impotence which happens later on in the story. It obviously symbolises his powerlessness over Rachel’s fate, but it still doesn’t seem forced because you set it up very subtly from the beginning of the book.
I can’t understand why this book isn’t in bookstores. It’s probably the best book our club has ever read.