China Court, by Rumer Godden, has me completely entranced for all of those reasons and more. In Godden I find a kindred soul – or maybe it’s her characters who resonate so deeply with me, though I can’t help but give her credit as the creator of the characters. I find someone who has puttered through an old house and felt it smile, who has touched dusty objects and felt their magic, who has gotten dirt under her fingernails as she tinkers in the garden and felt the content of hard labor. Through her story, I am meeting people who could be – ARE – real. They are introduced in snippets and in context and much the way we all get to know each other.
Though China Court is set in England, it could be my backyard – not because of the specifics, but because of the tone.
Maybe my enamor with China Court has to do with the audio version I’m enjoying on my ipod. Maybe it has to do with a state of mind that loves fiction and longs for more, always more. Maybe I enjoy it because I feel that I am finding bits of my life in its story.
I think, though, that the credit goes to a style of writing that defines classic literature.