One Day At A Time
Some books take you along through the full life of a character; some books have a timeframe of a few years, some a few months; and then some books go through just one – full – day of a character’s life. I have journaled, yet never really documented all my thoughts throughout a day on all that I do. I find it is an interesting way to get to know a character or to "see" how a character or an event developes through the details of an event.
An Unexpected Guest by Anne Korkeakivi, is one book that describes Clare Moorhouse’s events of a busy day as the wife of a British diplomat. As a reader, you get involved in Clare’s dealings of an irresponsible and stubborn teenage son, her preparations of a dinner for multiple diplomats and other highly regarded political individuals, her hidden and possibly damaging past, and knowledge of a possible terrorist suspect. The reader gets to know more about Clare as one is transported through the details of Clare’s preparations, errands, thoughts on how to handle various aspects of her son’s life, the upcoming dinner and her past involvement with the IRA. Clare gives the reader a glimpse of a diplomat's family along with what it does take to put on a prestigious dinner.
Another one – full – day of a character’s eventful happenings is Saturday by Ian McEwan. Henry Perowne, a neurosurgeon, awakens to London’s day of anti-war protesting while heavy in thought about the prevalent war in Iraq. Henry goes about his usual Saturday events including a squash game with a collegue and a shopping list. He and his wife are planning a special dinner with their two adult children. However, there is a minor collision to his car by a confrontational man. He notices that there is something medically wrong with this person. As the family arrives that evening, the confrontational man shows up at Henry’s home to try to ruin Henry's life. How the author, McEwan, develops the detailed thoughts of war and peace, of everyday living, medical phenomenon along with how a family handles a stressful event brings Henry closer to the reader.
Anne Tyler also wrote a one – full – day in the life of a couple, Breathing Lessons. You get to know the characters and their family, the ups and downs and twists and turns of their marriage as they travel to and from a friend’s funeral.
These one – full – day stories and lives of a character or characters develop through their thoughts and events of the day. You get to know the character and many times develop a compassion or understanding of this character and what they are experiencing. Are they fast or slow paced? As always, it can depend. Through the character's thoughts on a given topic, they can go a bit slow, yet pick up during the action and suspense of the story. Some readers like this one - full - day and some prefer a longer timeframe and less detail to develop a character and the story. What do you prefer? Or What ‘cha Reading?