A post on Tally Ho Sulky reminded me that though I'm a huge fan of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, I'd never read Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. I suddenly knew that it was exactly what I wanted to read, right now, and fortunately our library had a copy, a 1959 edition that had been read so many times that every single page had been dog-eared and the corners completely rounded off.
It's been years since I've had such a thoroughly delicious reading experience. Our kids are home from school this week and one has the flu, so I let them watch movies while I sat in another room reading by the woodstove.
The thing about this book is that it's definitely not perfect, at all. I wanted to know more about all of the characters; I wanted the subplots more developed; I wanted the paranormal stuff better explained. Yet, yet -- picking the book up each time was like tumbling into a gorgeous dream-space. Jackson's voice is so compelling, the house so vivid, and every interaction between the characters so charged, I didn't care at all about the flaws.
There are so many different ways to love a book, aren't there? It's so great that a book doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful. Sometimes it's easy to forget that when trying to write one.