Monday, May 20, 2013
Part of me lives at Nideck Point… only I had not realized how much until I recently returned to those vast rooms.
Last year when I read THE WOLF GIFT by Anne Rice, I was pleased to find it as good as anything she has ever written. A major setting for the story is the great house and home among the redwood trees in northern California, a place called Nideck Point. The architecture is lovingly invoked and the interior is richly and comfortably furnished. This highly civilized bastion is set amid the primeval majesty of ancient redwood forests. In parallel, the main character Reuben is challenged to embrace both his civilized humanity and the animal nature of the actual Wolf Gift.
The social networking site Facebook plays a role in the novel, and I soon learned why some call Ms. Rice the Queen Of Facebook. Her page there is among the most active and interesting, full of news and discussion, and she's remarkably gracious and honest with her beloved "People of the Page." That's how I learned that THE WOLF GIFT would have a sequel; when someone asked about it, she responded, "Done." Finally we learned that the next book would be titled THE WOLVES OF MIDWINTER and that an excerpt would be added at the end of the paperback edition of the first novel.
So what other reason had I to seek out and purchase the trade paperback edition of THE WOLF GIFT, except to savor that preview?
What happened when I began to read that 18-page except is a testimony to the superb creative power of this author… without elaborate descriptions, employing the deftest touches of narrative and no need to grab for attention, the first sentence immediately swept me again into Nideck Point.
THE WOLVES OF MIDWINTER opens thus: "It was the beginning of December, deeply cold and gray, with the rain pounding as always, but the oak fires had never burned brighter in the vast rooms of Nideck Point…" When I read these words, I returned there!
I realized it's a place where part of me lives--a place as real to me as any in the material world, for such is the power of great stories. This is the magic of human imagination.
I look forward to my further return to Nideck Point on October 15th, 2013.
Thank you so much, Anne!
Posted by Bruce P. Grether at 11:30 AM