Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Hand in the Dark- Gladys Taber

I certainly had no idea of writing this book.." the book jacket read.

And I certainly had no intentions of checking out another book from the library! I mumbled to myself as I knelt on the third floor of the IF library.

I was RETURNING 3 books, 1 forgotten at home. (thank goodness it isn't due till Feb.)


But Susan Branch got me thinking about an author, Gladys Taber and my friend, Kathleen, living in England for now, pushed me toward the dark recesses of the public library.

Literally, in the back of the library, where the lights only turn on if a person walks into the corner. Just as the old flourescent lights flickered on, I pulled out Gladys Taber's book: Another Path.

This woman, for all I knew, had written some books about a country home, purchased with a friend for a summer retreat with family and called it Stillmeadow.

Sounded peaceful enough for a snowing day.

Or blowing day. (which was the kind we had yesterday, which whipped away ALL but a few patches of snow but are being replaced as I peck at the computer!I thought for sure we were in for the long, painful haul of an Idaho spring; wind that rips through your body to clench your bones... and ya, you know the drill. But, NO!!!)

The home was the muse out of which such books containing recipes made there, some fiction by the educated author, and other cozy books to read while it snowed outside.

The computer at the library held a handful of titles written by this college professor of creative writing, divorcee, and come to find out: an owner of a home built in 1690, which was purchased for dirt cheap because a man had killed his wife and then himself in it. egh.

Anyway, out of that 'steal of a deal' in the house market- this woman was able to write and provide for a husband, who was more of an arranged marriage it appears, and who eventually went deaf, and a household of kids that came to her and her friend, Jill. (Jill eventually loses her husband to death and they just move to Stillmeadow full time.)

So I found that the book was about losing her friend, Jill. The one who'd worked hard to buy that cottage for their families for those summer retreats that turned into everyday life. And then unexpected death.

After Gladys reveals she had no intentions of writing about her grief over Jill's death, the jacket continues:

".. as I struggled to battle the illness of grief, I learned of many others who were undergoing the same struggle and asking for help. So I put down everything (on her old typewriter!!!) I discovered as I went a long this lonely path, with the hope that my experience might be a hand in the dark for someone else. "

And then from her foreword: "It is true help must come from within, but it is only a partial truth, I think. When you walk a dark path it is a good thing to know there are footprints on the soggy turf. Someone walked this way before, and you, in turn leave footprints for another who soon stumlbe this very way. At times, someone may be close enough to reach out a hand and to say, "There's a bad spot here." "

Thanks, Kathleen for getting me to check out a little of Gladys Taber!

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