Thursday, March 6, 2014

Belonging to Moonlight and Roses

Recently I read a teenage novel on the recommendation of a friend.  It was her favorite high school read and it was lovely, set in the 1950's.  It had lots of the domestic details I adore - cakes, living rooms, curtain descriptions.  The story was a coming of age one about teenage love which somehow seemed more grown-up in the 50's than it did in my high school years.  There was the usual angst that I quickly remembered is very real and painful.  But I think high school love in the '50's often turned into marriage and perhaps the stakes were higher or teenagers were just more mature then.

The protagonist is naturally in love with the wrong guy.  And although at first, she doesn't recognize the right guy, the reader does.  As a romantic, I was tipped off by the beautiful language the author used.  Here are my favorites:

"That June in January feeling"

"This was all the songs you've ever dreamed of...all the stories you've ever read...this was the first snowflake, the first daffodil, the first velvet dress"

"He had but to see her"

"You are different.  You belong to moonlight and roses"

I remember the "first velvet dress" feeling of my first love.  Of course, that didn't last but the feeling did.  Now someone regularly tells me that he can't wait to have me in his arms again.  Another 1950's expression that thrills me.  And while I'm at it, there's something about the crushingly romantic question, "Can I see you?", where the weight of a man's desire and longing hang just beyond four small words. 

I love the scene in the marvelous film Shakespeare in Love when Viola tells her nurse, "I WILL have poems and adventure.  And love..."  Me too.  Because I like to think I belong with moonlight and roses, daffodils, and velvet dresses too.

(The picture is from my friend Judy, also the friend who recommended I read "Trish" by Margaret Maize Craig)

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