Last night I returned from Italy feeling sleepy and idiotic after eleven hours cooped up in an airplane. My muscles needed exercise while my brain needed sleep. Now I've had both, and when I check out the Internet after a three week absence, first thing I see is this great review of my book Clear Heart. The reviewer is Kari Hesse of The Village Carpenter. Here's part of what she said:
As for Italy, I have a lot to say. Not about tourism, but about craft, something the Italians know best. Instead of taking snapshots of statues and art like all the other tourists, I would be walking through some ancient village saying things like "Look at the size of the gluelam they used as a header over that garage door!" This is why my wife sometimes has to pretend she doesn't know me.Well I didn't like his book....I LOVED his book. In fact, I couldn't put it down and sped through it faster than it takes me to read a magazine.It's about a 55 year old ex-hippy carpenter named Wally—his bond with his workmen, love for his work, respect for wood, relationship with a "perky Presbyterian" and her kids, Job-like patience, and determination to build the perfect house, despite seemingly insurmountable odds.But more than that—it's about the connection and interaction between men who are true craftsmen, their good-natured joking, routines and habits (like sometimes getting too friendly with female clients), temperaments, and respect for one another's capabilities. It's male bonding at its finest.And it's filled with endearing characters like Juke, FrogGirl, Abe, Opal (okay, Opal kinda drove me crazy--that chick needs a chill pill!), and fast-paced, nail-biting mishaps.It's about second chances, belief in the things that truly matter, mentoring, teaching, and friendship.And it made me want to ask Wally: "You hiring?"
Let me sort through my 350 photos of Italian bricks, doorknobs, windows - and let me get a little more sleep - and I'll try to make sense of it all.