A Shared Passion (Friday Fictioneers, April 2013)

This week’s Friday Fictioneers Challenge comes via a photo from Claire Fuller.  I struggled in vain to make out the titles, feeling really sneaky.  Checking out someone’s reading matter feels a bit like reading their diary.  😉 

A Shared Passion

The man at the big house invited me to see his library.  So many shapes, sizes – my head whirled in wonderment.

He lent me ‘Jane Eyre’ and promised ‘Wuthering Heights’ when I’d finished it.

My mother burned ‘Jane Eyre’; called him evil, and said I was never to go back there.

But I went back… to apologise.  For my mother’s barbarity.

I sat beside him and he held me while I cried.

I never saw him again; but every week, when I hid a book beneath the stone at his gateway, I’d find another one waiting.

And so I learned.

 

 



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About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

103 Responses to A Shared Passion (Friday Fictioneers, April 2013)

  1. Dear Sandra,
    You’ve packed a lot of story into a tight space. I’m in awe. Lovely telling.
    Shalom,
    Rochelle

    Like

  2. That’s such a vivid scene for so few words. Amazing job.

    Like

  3. Sandra, I have to admit that I was expecting a bad ending to this–that he was a child molester or something similar. Your title could easily be read that way. But this week, unless you’re being even more subtle than usual, I’m just happy that she found someone to share her passion for books and to help her grow as a person. On the other hand….

    janet

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Ah! the misdirection worked then. 😉 It was a pity that though they shared the same passion for books, they could never get to discuss them because of society’s (sadly understandable) preconceptions. Which she also learned about. Thanks for reading Janet.

      Like

  4. petrujviljoen says:

    This week I’m reading people’s contributions first before writing my own. I liked this a lot! Something I can understand, had a tiny bit experience of. They forever took books away from me.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I can’t imagine people taking books away from a child. For me, there was a never ending supply. The Bronte’s, Dickens, Shakespeare’s … they just appeared like magic.

      Like

      • petrujviljoen says:

        Had to fight for them. Ended up reading under the bed, where I’m sure, my mom knew I was hiding but gave up and let me be.

        Like

  5. This says alot about people and their ignorance. I guess we are banning books again because someone’s mother didnt like them???

    well done

    Like

  6. Oh be sure, this one is a tiny tale that delights. A lovely little story of childhood, with innocence and humanity, but showing also how our societies were bound and gagged. A few hundred more words and we would have seen other books to keep the light shining.
    Very nice.

    Like

  7. tedstrutz says:

    You know what, Sandra, this is a very nice story… I read it 3 times.

    Like

  8. Penny L Howe says:

    This is great. The perfect neighbor to have! A wonderfully well written story!

    Like

  9. Joe Owens says:

    Such a touching relationship they have. Bound by their love of books. It just shows that true passion will overcome the obstacles!

    Like

  10. kdillmanjones says:

    I love the setup here, the transgression that so many of us sympathize with. Wonderful.

    Like

  11. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    Your story was as good as reading gets. You should save this one on a special place. I’ve got it in my heart now. Well done.

    I tried to read the titles, too.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

  12. Either the mother is ignorant or has a female intuition about this man. Loved the ending. It reminded me of Boo leaving surprise tokens in the tree for Scout, her brother and little friend. My story is still jelling in my head.

    Like

  13. I loved this story. It could be the beginning of an autobiography of an authour. I recall reading Harry Martinson’s autobiography and the tale he told about the difficulties he had to get access to books…

    Like

  14. Honie Briggs says:

    passionate, mysterious, and educational! the trifecta!

    Like

  15. Carrie says:

    Ignorance never wins in the end! Such a heartless mother.

    Great flash Sandra

    Like

  16. kz says:

    it’s a terrific tale.. had my imagination going… i love her defiance, her eagerness to learn.. and that the strange man cared.. there’s a certain air of mystery here that leaves me wanting more

    Like

  17. Loved this! Way to tell a story.

    Like

  18. julespaige says:

    I was a late reader – lucky to have a step mom who would read to me every night. I think that’s part of the reason why I like to write. Imagination is priceless.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I can’t recall ever having been read to. Don’t think my parents had the time so they just made sure there was an endless supply of books for me, and I started early.

      Like

  19. elappleby says:

    Oh how fabulous! I can picture this in my head – the ignorant mother, the child’s thirst for knowledge, the gentleman who wants to help and gets misunderstood. Brilliant. I think it’s going to be a good week this week 🙂

    Like

  20. claireful says:

    A real classic here Sandra; had a real feel of a Victorian story of longing and misunderstanding. You can read my library anytime…
    Claire

    Like

  21. Ankita says:

    Beautiful! A new book always waiting!

    Like

  22. vbholmes says:

    Must say I didn’t pick up on the possible seamy side of this until I read the comments–I placed the villain cloak on the mother, and throughout, saw the man as a mentor to a lucky child. Well done.

    Like

  23. vbholmes says:

    Must say I didn’t see the seamy side of this until I read the comments–I placed the villain’s cloak on the mother and saw the man as a mentor to a lucky child. Well done, Sandra.

    Like

  24. Sarah Ann says:

    I agree with vb. He wasn’t an evil man until I saw the comments. This is a great story with so much in it, whether it stays innocent or not. And I’m sticking with innocent.

    Like

  25. This is a gem of a story, Sandra. I loved it. I’m not sure of what’s been said in the comments, but I’m going with innocent, too. It made me smile. Books can defini

    Like

  26. oops…Books can definitely make for a bonding experience.

    Like

  27. This actually gave me a chill,,and almost a tear to my eye.

    Like

  28. wmqcolby says:

    This was GREAT! Books are my favorites (as they probably ALL are to us writers). I like the sense of justice, too … hid a book a week. Brilliant! Thanks, Sandra. Always a pleasure.

    Like

  29. camgal says:

    Aww that was touching, such a nice man o inspire interest in learning 🙂

    Like

  30. billgncs says:

    a good story, although I was waiting for poison or a knife 🙂 — reminds me of when I was in junior high I was friends with the single black child in the school. I lent Fred my “Conan the Barbarian” by Robert E. Howard, heady stuff in those days. He was never able to return it for someone found it in his locker, scribbled profanities in it and tore it to pieces. Books transcend many things.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      That must have been an appalling incident for Fred – I can’t imagine how he must have felt. This image will stick with me Bill. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

      Like

      • billgncs says:

        yes – I sometimes think this is learned, but it is so prevalent in so many places. We are sending my daughter over to visit my sister in Avignon for the summer — do you get your boat to that part of the country.

        Like

        • Sandra says:

          We’re a bit further north now Bill, near Macon/Dijon but as we transferred from the Midi to Pont de Vaux via the Rhone, we spent a weekend in Avignon – beautiful. I hadn’t known that when we sing ‘sur le pont d’Avignon, on y danse’ etc that the bridge itself actually stops partway across the river. Just like that! She’ll have a lovely time, sure of it.

          Like

  31. Well told, with a very heart-warming ending. Thanks, Sandra!

    Like

  32. Jan Brown says:

    I love the ending–the wonderful way he keeps lending her books. Lovely!

    Like

  33. unspywriter says:

    Great story! My mother wasn’t much on reading, and I often had to sneak books into my room to read–not as extreme as this, but I relate. Wonderful tribute to the love of books.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/reincarnation/

    Like

  34. t says:

    This is truly beautiful Sandra. Very touching and real.

    And don’t feel bad, I too “snuck around.” That’s how I located “Eden.” Well, not the actual Eden, you understand…

    Like

  35. Trudy says:

    I like this story, you’ve packed a lot in, and I’m glad she got to learn by reading widely and well 🙂

    Like

  36. erinleary says:

    Sandra – I loved this. So beautiful told, so brief. Of course, I suspected that the mother wasn’t long for this world, but you did her no harm. At least, in this entry. 🙂

    Like

  37. rgayer55 says:

    I understand the Mother’s concern, but she could have went with her daughter. My guess is she disliked books herself and didn’t want her daughter to like them either. I’ve known people like that. Great story, Sandra.

    Like

  38. One of the very best I have ever read.
    Thanks for the entire adventure summed up in so few words!
    Scott

    Like

  39. Debra Kristi says:

    This is absolutely wonderful. Wish I’d thought of it. 😉 I adore it when the picture prompt stirs an idea that veers away from the picture itself, as yours has, in this case, creating such a rich and deep story.

    Like

  40. Anne Orchard says:

    This was fantastic Sandra, what better use for a library than to inspire a child? Too many books sit on shelves not earning their keep. I’m currently re-reading some of the ones I’ve kept, but most of them I try to send on for someone else’s enjoyment.

    Like

  41. annisik51 says:

    You conveyed that this was a ‘period’ story so economically. I can see both the mother’s concern for the safety of her child and the man’s understanding of that concern; and maybe, his concern to protect himself, too. It also characterises him well: he wants nothing but to help the girl to learn. Excellent work!

    We’ve been to Avignon and that region. I envy you, though we are now seriously into the doing up of our boat (Albin Vega) and hope to have her in the water in the not too distant future. I ache all over from scrubbing! Ann

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for commenting Ann. Where is your boat based? Getting them water-ready is a time and energy consuming job, so I can sympathise. Good luck with that! 🙂

      Like

      • annisik51 says:

        The boat’s in a boatyard, conveniently about 15 minutes drive away. It’s a complete renovation job. It was covered in furry green algae until a couple of weekends ago, when I scrubbed it down from bow to stern, though I’ve also cleaned out the cockpit/cabin/kitchen room. We’ll be installing a new engine soon. Ouch! The money! Ouch! The time! Great project though! Ann

        Like

  42. pamtanzey says:

    Oh I love this!!

    Like

  43. Mystikel says:

    That’s a great little story. Beyond not trusting the guy, the mother obviously did not value literature at all. I would have “liked” it but for some reason the like button isn’t loading for me.

    Like

  44. sandraconner says:

    Really Good Writing, Sandra!

    Like

  45. Abraham says:

    I was expecting something nasty to happen. Phew! 😀

    Like

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