The Great Divide.
When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?
The last book I bought was non-fiction, or so I thought. I found it at a thrift store: a vintage French language textbook from Switzerland with the name Lucia Bellacicio penciled on the first page.
A bus ticket from Lausanne, purchased at 12:15. A receipt from Bibliotheque Cantonale Et Universitaire Lausanne for Fodor’s Voyage Guide. A French test taken le 11 Juin 1969 with a red inked score of 79%. Insuffisant!
There were notes and lists in French and English. There was a typed page, in English; an invitation to an Independence Day Picnic, July 3, 1966 at Ecole Nouvelle Chailly, a benefit for the cerebral palsied.
And there were poems, handwritten in English; one for a little girl named Gretchen (Curls that shine like the setting sun…) and one for little (bundle of laughter and joy…) Hilery.
When I bought the book, I just wanted to read some French, maybe learn a mot or two. Now I want to know the rest of Lucia Bellacicio’s story. Ou est Lucia Bellacicio? Where was she from? Is she still alive? How did her Swiss/French book end up in a thrift store in Montana? Are the poems about her daughters? Where are Gretchen and Hilery now and wouldn’t they like to read these poems?
So, my lovely old French textbook turned out to be non-fiction, a mystery and a memoir all in one.