Tag Archives: sitting practice

Treasures from the Strand

I just returned from a very quick trip to NY. The weekend didn't turn out as planned at all – one of my daughters got quite sick while we were there, and we ended up in the hotel room all day yesterday instead of at the Broadway shows we had planned to attend. However, when she finally went to sleep last night, I had an hour-long window to get out of the hotel and go to the Strand before it closed. I halved that hour by taking a cab to the Strand, discovering that I had left my wallet at the hotel, making the cab driver take me back to the hotel to retrieve my wallet, and then returning to the Strand in the same cab. That's how badly I wanted to go.

So I walked in the door of the store around 9:55 PM, and it closed at 10:30. However, while I was there I was able to find half-price hardcover review copies of three books I have had my eye on (and have written about here): Hello Goodbyeby Emily Chenoweth, The GIrls from Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow, and Sitting Practice by Caroline Adderson. I also picked up a copy of Julie Buxbaum's After You (she's a fellow HLS alum and I have been intrigued by her), and a used copy of Matthew Klam's collection of short stories, Sam the Cat. The latter was an impulse buy from the used fiction section. I rarely read short stories, but these looked good.

Because I really needed five new books to add to the TBR piles.

But it made me so happy to go there and browse and find those books, at the end of a pretty long day, so it was totally worth it. And I was in the checkout line by 10:25. And, I took the subway back.

I love the Strand.

SITTING PRACTICE by Caroline Adderson

Here is another book I found on the shelves at Island Bookstore: Sitting Practice, by Caroline Adderson. From Amazon:

Adderson It only takes a moment for your life to be changed forever—as the characters of this darkly comic novel discover early on. The fateful moment for the newlyweds Ross and Iliana comes with the freak automobile accident that leaves Iliana paralyzed, Ross grief-stricken, and both of them struggling to come to terms with a married life nothing like they originally had in mind. As the usually affable Ross struggles with guilt and with finding ways to cope with his newly fractured life, Iliana gets used to her unwelcome existence as a wheelchair-bound wife, to her husband’s growing sense of alienation, and to their awkward new lack of intimacy.

What ultimately happens with Ross and Iliana is as unexpected and surprising as the fateful mishap that sets the events in motion in the first place. Sitting Practice is a clever and insightful study of love’s collision with harsh reality, told by an author with a remarkable instinct for the workings of human nature, a nimble gift for language, and the ability to find humor in the oddest places.

Reviews of Sitting Practice seem to be pretty mixed. She Reads and Reads said: "I got stuck in the first third of the book (the setup before and immediately after the accident)—I found the characters stilted and almost caricatured. The middle of the book (which is actually the section called “End”) is more engaging; the characters are fuller and I was intrigued with the story of Iliana’s emerging sexuality post accident, which I felt the author dealt with very compassionately. Unfortunately, the momentum of that section didn’t carry through to the end, which fell flat, in my opinion."

Mermaids liked the character development in Sitting Practice and appreciated that the book tied up at the end but left her wanting more.

Carp(e) Libris Reviews liked the book a lot: "Sitting Practice is filled to overflowing with likable, realistically flawed and spiritual characters, with a story line that keeps your head in the book even when it’s regretfully closed. Adderson has a knack for conveying life-giving detail in her writings, making the reader wonder just how many shoes she’s walked in to offer such realistic points of view. From Iliana’s day-to-day experiences in a wheelchair to the simple toddler behavior of Ross’ nephew, each part is played out in vivid 3-D. Sitting Practice is certainly a touching and entrancing look into some of life’s more painful lessons.

I'm intrigued. Anyone in EDIWTBland read this yet?