Recently I was delighted to accept Lisa Tucker’s latest novel The Promised World for a TLC Book Tour (read my review). Described by Booklist as a “natural born storyteller,” Lisa is also the author of The Song Reader, Shout Down the Moon, Once Upon a Day, and The Cure for Modern Life. Her books have been published in twelve countries and her work has been featured in Seventeen, Pages, and The Oxford American. She has advanced degrees in English and Math, and has taught creative writing at the Taos Conference and at UCLA. Lisa currently lives in Pennsylvania. To learn more about Lisa Tucker and her work, please visit the author’s website.
When I asked for a guest post, Lisa graciously agreed to provide one. Given the subject matter of her book, I believe this is not only a timely post, but a poignant one.
Honoring a Loved One
by Lisa Tucker
Since The Promised World is about dealing with grief, I wanted to share with your readers something I wrote to honor someone I lost. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that we never really get over grief, but talking—and writing—about the person we miss can really help. Thanks for inviting me to do a guest blog.
The last time she visited, she was already sick. When she left, I walked around my house in a daze, inhaling the smells. In the kitchen, the odors from the supper she’d insisted on making the night before: salty grease from the fried chicken and okra, sticky sweetness from the strawberries and marshmallow yams. In the bathroom, the clean tang of her Avon astringent and body cream. And in the guest room, the vaguely floral smell that must have been her perfume, but seemed like the very scent of her.
Her name was Minnie Louise, a small-town Arkansas gal, but I called her Minna, because she thought it sounded French, mysterious. For years, we talked on the phone every morning, even when my husband and I weren’t getting along, even when I feared we’d end up divorced. Our relationship was one of the richest in my adult life, but whenever I told friends she was coming to visit me, they groaned. They all had mother-in-law horror stories. The very term mother-in-law seems to be only an occasion for jokes.
Did you hear the one about the mother-in-law who made a string of beautiful beads for her daughter-in-law, with a card that read, “Worry beads, for your busy little hands”?
I wring my hands; I also crack my knuckles, pick my nails, tear my cuticles. As a child these were embarrassing tics, but in Minna’s eyes they became signs of my sensitivity, of the harsh way she was sure the world had treated me. She respected me as a woman and a mother and a writer, and most important, she gave me back my position as a daughter. And I loved her with a child-like intensity that always wanted more.
Read all the blog tours for this book and author:
Tuesday, September 1st: Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Thursday, September 3rd: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, September 8th: Fizzy Thoughts
Date TBD: My Friend Amy
Friday, September 11th: Serendipitous Reading
Monday, September 14th: Cindy’s Love of Books
Tuesday, September 15th: Booking Mama
Wednesday, September 16th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Thursday, September 17th: 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
Monday, September 21st: Janel’s Jumble
Tuesday, September 22nd: Caribousmom
Wednesday, September 23rd: The Tome Traveller
Thursday, September 24th: Books and Movies
Monday, September 28th: A Sea of Books
Tuesday, September 29th: GalleySmith
Wednesday, September 30th: Shhh.. I’m Reading