A Dreamy Life

Have you ever read a passage in a book and become jealous about the fact that you weren’t able to write that passage first? I’m barely into it, but I think that I will get this feeling much more with this book…

For Caroline Gill was thirty-one, and she had been waiting a long time for her real life to begin. Not that she had ever put it that way to herself. But she had felt since childhood that her life would not be ordinary. A moment would come—she would know it when she saw it—and everything would change. She’d dreamed of being a great pianist, but the lights of the high school stage were too different from the lights at home, and she froze in their glare. Then, in her twenties, as her friends from nursing school began to marry and have their families, Caroline too had found young men to admire, one especially, with dark hair and pale skin and a deep laugh. For a dreamy time she imagined that he—and, when he didn’t call, that someone else—would transform her life. When years passed she gradually turned her attention to her work, again without despair. She had faith in herself and her own capabilities. She was not a person who ever got halfway to a destination and paused, wondering if she’d left an iron on and if the house was burning down. She kept on working. She waited.

She read, too. Pearl Buck’s novels first and then everything she could find about life in China and Burma and Laos. Sometimes she let the books slip from her hands and gazed dreamily out the window of her plain little apartment on the edge of town. She saw herself moving through life, an exotic, difficult, satisfying life. Her clinic would be simple, set in a lush jungle, perhaps nears the sea. It would have white walls; it would gleam like a pearl. People would line up outside, squatting beneath coconut trees as they waited. She, Caroline, would tend to them all; she would heal them. She would transform their lives and hers.

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

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