The Maytrees

The Maytrees

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Annie Dillard is an author recommended to me by the booksellers at 192 Books, my local weekend haunt. The Maytrees is a quiet novel about the love story of a married couple living in a beach shack in Provincetown. I read this entire book with a pencil in hand, underlining gorgeous sentence after gorgeous sentence. It begins with Toby and Lou falling for each other. They’re a free-spirited young couple who care about their books, the landscape, the pouring rain, each other’s freckles and eyebrows, and eventually, their young son. An affair splits them apart for years, but like the steady and incessant beams from a lighthouse, Toby finds his way back home to Lou’s seaside shack. It’s a bohemian tale of love, forgiveness, and changing tides.

Three days a week she helped at the Manor Nursing Home, where people proved their keenness by reciting received analyses of current events. All the Manor residents watched television day and night, informed to the eyeballs like everyone else and rushed for time, toward what end no one asked. Their cupidity and self-love were no worse than anyone else’s, but their many experiences’ having taught them so little irked Lou. One hated tourists, another southerners; another despised immigrants. Even dying, they still held themselves in highest regard. Lou would have to watch herself. For this way of thinking began to look like human nature–as if each person of two or three billion would spend his last vital drop to sustain his self-importance.

The photo above was taken at Stofan in Reykjavik, Iceland where I stopped after a long bike ride for a hot cup of coffee, and long read, and this little glass of meringue, cream and chocolate covered bites of licorice.

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