Reading this at a time when happiness eludes me and only a Turkish word can describe the sadness I feel, a time when the world is in disarray and the cynic in me is more pronounced than I want it to be, it is easier to argue that true beauty, real freedom from the male world’s sway, and lasting transformation surely take more than suggested by this book — but I am also a believer in the wisdom of surrendering to the restorative power of spending a month in a villa in Italy, flowers, rest, and the sea. Oh, I’d take these any day!
It is a truth universally acknowledged that one should not carp about novels like this. You simply open your heart to it, cease overthinking, and allow it to happen — the way you’re supposed to with sunshine, a little frivolity once in a while, and happiness.
So if this book were set to poetry, it would be this poem by Lydia McGrew:
When joy alights like a bird on a fence post
arrested in fragile flight,
do not frighten her away.
When she comes in the clutch of the heart
at the scent of the evening air
instinct with life and memory,
in the grey-blue of the sky at twilight,
in the sweep of the pine tree to the sky,
Do not say,
There are depths to be plumbed,
There are knots to be worried at.
I have no time for this.
Nor listen to the more insidious voice that lectures,
Death and disease roam the streets.
Pitiless murder with bloody sword unsheathed stalks all the ways of the world,
and beauty and innocence fall before him.
What right have I to be happy?
Rather stand still,
It is a gift.
And with that, I wish us all an enchanted April, and the wisdom and grace to submit to happiness when it beckons. 🤍