If I could describe it, I’d tell you it felt like an itch under the skin, like a pins and needles sensation of expectation worming its way to the furthest parts of my body. Curiosity is a burden when it strikes in such a manner, gnawing at you from the inside out and forcing you to explore beyond your comfort zones.
I want so badly to finish this book I’m reading right now. My fingers remember the phantom touch of its feather-light pages, my hands remember its weight, and my mind spins with red-herrings and the mystery of a well-written plot. I physically ache to have my questions answered, to have my mind put at ease with solutions and explanations.
There are books that I’ve liked, books I’ve expressed passing interest in, and books that I’ve loved. There have been very few books – and even fewer authors – that I’ve connected with on this metaphysical level. Its more than a perceived mutual understanding, more than a feeling of rightness. It’s like putting the last piece into a perfectly well balanced puzzle and knowing one could not have achieved the picture without the other.
Anne Bishop has been that author for me since I was fourteen years old. It’s one of her books, Written in Red, that’s reminded me of this feeling now. Throughout the years Bishop has brought me time and again into handcrafted worlds of intense emotions and introduced me to characters that have changed the course of my life. She’s shown me through her words and her plots how to walk the moral high ground, how to walk away the better person, and how to understand what’s truly worth fighting for.
I’ve come to expect a cast of instinctively protective characters in her books, of male and female champions fighting side by side for the greater good and those too innocent to protect themselves. These characters have taught me what passion is and how families can be made and not just born into. I’ve modeled my life on those behaviors, looking for friendships and relationships that are as fierce and life altering as I’ve come to admire in Bishop’s books.
I often want to recommend her to other people, but sometimes I worry that others won’t find the same connections in her work that I do, that they won’t feel what I feel or understand what I see in it. Irrationally I worry that their not understanding her means that they won’t understand me. I know this to be untrue and yet this one feeling, more than others, I feel compelled to experience with someone else. Perhaps its because I seek validation for my obsession or maybe it’s because I need confirmation that my feelings are real. Nevertheless I understand how crazy that desire is. So I hardly ever bring her up, though an entire shelf is dedicated to her collection in my room and I sometimes feel more at peace in the memory of her fictional worlds than I do anywhere else.
There are good books, there are great books, and then there are those that touch you personally. Anne Bishop’s books have affected my life in such a profound way that I find it difficult to explain. But no matter what I will always appreciate her as an author. If you have any interest in her books whatsoever, please pick one up.* You won’t be disappointed.
*Please keep in mind that the content of these books is intended for mature audiences.