The day before yesterday I read 29 Housekeeping, which was her first novel (you may recall my raving about Home and Gilead last year) and it actually induced in me a semi-drugged state of bliss and peace. How can anyone possibly write so accurately about everything, and in such a way that absolutely exactly you know what she means and you're right there with her?
I could just write out the whole book (and wish I had) but to give you a tiny sample, the narrator talking about her older sister's dislike for "fanciful" clothes and accessories:
"She was of the common persuasion. Time that had not come yet - an anomaly in itself - had the fiercest reality for her. It was a hard wind in her face; if she had made the world, every tree would be bent, every stone weathered, every bough stripped by that steady and contrary wind. Lucille saw in everything its potential for invidious change. She wanted worsted mittens, brown oxfords, red rubber boots. Ruffles wilted, sequins fell, satin was impossible to clean."
That's nearly half way through the book and you can tell already no good is going to happen.
As for my gestation project, I'll meekly take advice about reading. I've reason to believe the goblin's planning to inviegle his way to an early entrance one way or another, so am going for not being too ambitious (though finishing AK and swimming through a whole Irving might keep me quiet for a while).