RWM: Edward’s Eyes
First, I just have to say that there hasn’t been a Patricia MacLachlan book I haven’t loved.
This one was very interesting. The conversation terse–more like poetry–but sufficient. The plot intriguing and surprising. And touching.
I loved this description of a three year-old Jake (the narrator) meeting his new baby brother, Edward:
Maeve [their mother] and Jack [their dad] walk in the front door, Maeve carrying baby Edward in his green blanket…I am only three years old, but I can tell from their faces that Maeve and Jack want us to love Edward….They look at me then.
‘Jack?’ says Maeve.
They wait. I peer down at Edward, my face close to his….
And when I don’t say anything she hands me Edward. Just like that. As if he were a bundle or a book. I remember sitting very still, so scared I can’t move. And then it happens. Edward opens his eyes and looks at me. His eyes are the dark mud-blue of the night sky, but there are surprising little flecks of gold in them. They stare right into my eyes. My heart begins to beat faster. I try to say something. I want to say that Edward is beautiful…the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I want to say that I love him more than anything or anyone I know. But I am only three, and when I try to talk I can’t say all those words.
‘His eyes,’ I begin.
‘Maeve reaches out and smooths my hair. Her hand is cool and she smiles at me because she already knows what I can’t say. Tears sting at the corners of my eyes. Maeve takes us both–Edward and me–into her arms.
‘Edward’s eyes,’ I say into her shoulder, the tears coming at last. ‘Edwards eyes.’
Peter (10) read the book one evening last week and told me, “I loved it, [but] it was really, really sad at the end.”
One of the nice parts about Patricia MacLachan’s books is that they are short enough for younger readers but rich enough for any age reader to enjoy them. This makes them great for both children who are getting a later start in reading (haven’t fallen in love with reading yet) as well as great read aloud books for families.
Here are some of her books we love from our home library:
All the Places to Love; Sarah, Plain and Tall; Skylark; Caleb’s Story; Grandfather’s Dance; More Perfect than the Moon
And click on this link to hear a wonderful interview with her. I love that she takes phone calls from children!
P.S. I also enjoy all the little French words in the story, particularly the references to Goodnight, Moon in French. A sweet surprise to find this when I’m about to start teaching French tomorrow using that book!