It's been a busy weekend on the whole--reading and extracurricular gardening goodies. Yesterday we spent several hours planting flowers in our beds and around our koi pond, as well as repotting the water plants from our koi pond and adding additional marginal and oxygenating plants to the mix. In total, we have two water lilies, a bloody dock (green with red veins, looks like a turnip plant), water violets, a water palm, an iris, and some sweet flag grass. I can't wait until they fill out a bit.
But you want to know about the reading, I know you do. I'm about 75 pages into The Sorrows of an American (Siri Hustvedt), and I just love it. I would say, so far, it's a little lower key than most of Hustvedt's other stuff, but there's still the old staples. Lots of pyschology (the main character is a psychiatrist), lots of art, lots of writers, and multiple mysteries beginning to unfurl. It's a hard book to describe, really. There are several plotlines that all intersect and revolve around each other.
The main character, Erik Davidsen, is reading his father's journal, written on and off throughout his life and in large chunks before his death. There's also the plight of Erik's tenants in the garden apartment portion of his Brooklyn home: Miranda and her daughter Eglantine are seemingly being stalked by a person that leaves photos of the two (and Erik) outside of the house. Then there's Erik's sister, Inga, a psychologically fragile woman of great intellect, juggling a relationship with her daughter Sonia whose experience seeing 9/11 unfold from her school classroom has left lasting effects. In addition, there's a thread about Inga's dead husband, Max, a celebrity writer and the mysterious reporter that keeps trying to dredge up his past. Also, a mystery involving the siblings' father and a cryptic message about a woman named Lisa and the "bad thing" they encountered together as children.
It sort of makes my head spin on the whole, but it's so wonderfully woven, I can hardly make myself put the book down. Each story informs the others, and I feel a bit like the characters. With so many threads and thoughts and worries swimming around them, one longs for a cohesive, whole experience.
So far I don't know if this one will be able to surpass my out of control love and obsession for What I Loved, but it could very well give it a run for its money.