Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird was required reading in high school. I was always a voracious reader and I recall enjoying it and the discussions that ensued. I don't remember adoring it as so many others have but, since I remember it well all these years later, it clearly did resonate on some level. The brouhaha around her "discovered" novel did not move me enough to want to read it. But her death urges me to reread To Kill a Mockingbird to see where it fits in my schema now that I'm all grown up and have seen a thing or two in my life.
I've never been big on rereads. There are so many books and only so much time. Yet, lately, I seem to be drawn to check out how I would react now to books read long ago. Can they stand up to the test of time or do they belong to where I was in that moment? I suspect there's a bit of both. I have reread Outlander and thoroughly enjoyed it each time. But, there was only about six years between those readings—not a whole lot of change in my world or psyche in that time.
Last week, I mentioned that I had reread Mary Stewart's Wildfire at Midnight. It is a good story but, truly, it is her Merlin series that I fell in love with. So in love, that I wrote her a gushing fan letter begging her to continue. And, she answered. A measure of her worth as a writer, and of the generous power she yielded to make this young girl feel valuable, lies in the fact that I still have her letter many moves and 38 years later. Her writing has, and will always be, an inspiration for me both as a reader and a writer.
Rest in peace Harper Lee and Mary Stewart. You may be gone, but you will not be forgotten.