not long ago, i met the beautiful, talented, insightful author, Francesca Lia Block. it was a dream come true. i was able to talk to her, get my books signed, and give her my “Child in Me” album. she remembered me and later, wrote me and some others an email. it was about her new book, Beyond the Pale Motel. she was wondering if any of us would like to blog about or help get the word out about her yet to be released novel. of course i wanted to! her books have lifted my spirits and rekindled my creativity so many times over the past decade or so. i received an advance copy a couple of weeks ago. it was delicious. but more on that later, and now, on how it all started..
i was always one of those kids with their noses buried in a book, wherever i went. i used to look forward to coming home from school, just so i could grab one from the huge stack i’d gotten from the library, my dreamland! then i’d rummage through the snack cupboard in the kitchen, grab something, and go somewhere quiet and read for hours. that was my idea of paradise 😉 i was kind of a lonely, extremely shy kid with big dreams, so books comforted me, loved me (and i loved them fiercely back), and i could go away to so many different places just by reading, it was magical!
i haven’t changed much since then, except now i carry a purse with me always (currently a hot pink Michael Kors! – i think now i may be just as obsessed with purses as i am with books!), and i always have a book with me if i know there may be a free moment. also now instead of libraries, it’s bookstores and Amazon or iBooks!
about a decade ago, i remember walking into Barnes and Nobles and seeing a book called Dangerous Angels. for some reason i was extremely drawn to it, so i bought it and fell in love. even now, i still reread it and other FLB books over and over again, when i need a lift, a creative boost, or to just not feel alone. for me to be so affected by a book is saying a lot, since i’ve literally read thousands! Dangerous Angels was sparkly, creative, and touched me to the core. and i was intrigued by the person who could create such a beautiful contribution to the world. if i’d known back then that i’d get to meet her and write about Beyond the Pale Motel before it’s release date, i wouldn’t have believed it!
so, Beyond the Pale Motel, how can i explain it in words? it’s hip and stylish. it’s intriguing, sexy, dark, and thrilling. it kept me interested from the first page to the last. the pretty, sensual, delicious descriptions of everything, made me swoon and want to keep drinking it in. like, i wanted to wear the “silk kimono dress printed with pink peonies and white cherry blossoms”, and use the beautiful makeup and eat the beautiful food described in the book. FLB just has this way of making you passionately drawn to her books, getting close to your core through her enticing but heartfelt words. and this book especially, had an exciting, captivating plot to go along with it. and the best thing about it? in the end, it’s all about love. and pain. and how everyone is in pain at one time or another. and it most likely will never stop. but love won’t either. and knowing that everyone is on the same boat makes you feel like you’re never alone. and what really matters is how you use your heart, and how big you can expand it. it’s about “seeing the love in everything”, like the main character is able to do.
this book came to me at an appropriate time, as the word i chose and wanted to embody this year, is love. and this book though dark, is about love. and good art is created through love. Francesca writes in the end, “Love is not the monster, not at all. True love is the thing that makes life bearable. That reveals life’s beauty”.
so i recommend this book. i recommend Francesca Lia Block. read Beyond the Pale Motel, and read Dangerous Angels. and you will read love. and you will be so much better for it.