I'm in the midst of a really, really good novel. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It is one of those books that I'm enjoying so much, I'll sometimes put it down just because I don't want it to end. It also marks the first kindle book that I wish I'd purchased in "real book" form because I want it on my shelves. I currently am carrying about 20 ebooks around via the kindle app on my iphone. Some of them I would have purchased as actual books, but there's a few I probably would rather no one saw me reading. But this one is different. Sure there's a trace of my yankee white bleeding heart liberal upbringing that is angered by the subject matter (essentially the racist white southerners who hire black maids to raise their children & cook their food, but can't deign to share a bathroom with them), but I think this novel goes further than that. To a place or level of emotion that is universal. I was about 13 or 14 when I came up with the theory that at 2 o'clock in the morning, once everyone's usual social barriers are down, we can all relate to each other. And I was probably a bit older when I came up with my cheerleader broken nail theory. (ie: the tragedy of a broken nail for a cheerleader might be utterly laughable to anyone not quite so shallow, but that cheerleader's feelings about the situation are just as real and valid to her as anyone experiencing a "real" tragedy).
This novel reminds me why I had planned on being a writer for my entire childhood. I want to tell a story that hasn't been told before. I want to create characters that are so real they breathe right off of the page and people feel their struggles, triumphs and fear as if they were the closest of friends. I haven't written fiction in so many years that I almost changed the "wants" in the last sentence to "wanted". But the truth is that I do still want to write again. Someday. Yeah yeah I know, writers write. I guess I'm just a reader these days, but this novel makes me want to write.