I'm late getting to my computer tonight, and I'm posting on the fly--all because of Gayle Brandeis' new book, Self Storage. I borrowed it from the library at lunch today, started reading it after work, and I could not put it down! I read it straight through--and it is so wonderful that I think it is something that I need to own so I can read it again, slower, digesting each piece of wonder that she has managed to pack into this book. Please, get yourself a copy of it and read.
Brandeis has woven her story around the lines in Walt Whitman's poem, Song of Myself. I don't know how she did it, but she did it in a masterful, seamless way. The words of Whitman and the events in the story fit as though they could be no other way. Her characters are vivid, and real and they fill my heart. She takes us into a life that is both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, through Flan, the main character. Flan makes money by buying things from auctions at self-storage units. When she buys a box that is empty except for the word "yes" on a piece of paper, her whole life changes as she moves toward that yes. And she takes us along for the journey. Again, buy this book and read it. And reading this will help you do what Whitman says: "You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life." Flan does.