by Hank Veggian
What holds a book “together?” Many readers will look for a theme or a message, a “take-away” that makes a “point” over many pages. I call them the miners, because they look to extract something useful from a book. Other readers read for the story, and take pleasure in moving with the tides. I call them the swimmers, because they go with the flow. A third type of reader: the editor. These readers take pleasure from a book’s style, and admire how the words are assembled, above all.
There are always exceptions to the types, and other types. Can they all co-exist? How many personalities can inhabit a reader? What about a single life? And can they all be captured in a book? Janet Messineo’s Casting into the Light had me wondering about these questions. Did the book answer them? Maybe, and indirectly, but not because it sought to. And that’s why I enjoyed reading it. It’s a raw book in some ways, without major goals or some splendid architecture to showcase. It’s nonetheless a collection of stories that add up in some way to a portrait of a life, and an interesting one at that.Continue reading