Facing a four-hour trip home from my in-law’s house in Oklahoma, I could listen to my sweet hubby scan through radio stations, I could sketch yet more notes for the story I’m rewriting, or I could find a book on my Kindle. Well, even though I’m from Texas, I really don’t like country-western music and I knew that’s what hubby sought – or football. Ick. And despite my enthusiasm over rewriting my story, I’ve noted the tar out of it. Poised to write, my laptop battery didn’t have enough charge for me to get anywhere. So I opened my Kindle and looked for a new read.
Enter Polar Bear Plunge by Linda Glaz. About two weeks ago, I gave y’all a list of novellas, the perfect length for a busy season. Especially if you’re a read-til-you-drop reader like I am. I don’t like to stop a book until I finish it. Well Polar Bear Plunge was on that list of novella suggestions, the work of an agency-mate, also represented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency. I added it to my Christian Fiction Recommendations even though I hadn’t read it because of the author’s inspired comments on a mutual email tree. (I don’t always get to read all of the stories I suggest beforehand, but I only suggest those from authors I feel comfortable with or that have been recommended by trusted friends.)
I have to tell you, this story was not only the perfect length, it gave me the perfect mix of emotions. (Four crying times!) I found myself immediately drawn into the story by the frustration of an overworked nurse and the guy described as “hot” even though he’d nearly frozen to death. The underlying hints of deeper stories, and the connection with a precocious preschooler and military men and women kept me enthralled.
That and two spirited huskies! Dogs and kids. Who could pass that up?
But Polar Bear Plunge has much more. This year I’m really focusing on the development of characters. I love psychology and find myself dissecting every movie character I see and every real person I encounter.
The heroine, Aleni, gave many layers to analyze. I found a dedicated nurse – nurturing by nature – a devoted mom and daughter-in-law. She worried when she put other people out, but didn’t make too much of a deal about doing extra things herself. Not that negative thoughts didn’t cross her mind, but she didn’t dwell there for too long.
Her attitude did stay on the half-empty side of the glass overall, expecting to live in mild pleasantness – hoping against bitter pain, but not expecting any real joy or happiness. And despite her care about other people, she had no trouble snapping and acting contrary to her normal calm self when pushed too far or overly wearied. Though not such nice sides of her personality, both responses seemed reasonable to me considering her situation. And her believable behavior and reactions were another reason why I enjoyed this book!
Want a short, refreshing read? A Polar Bear Plunge is good on all levels! Try it by a roaring fire. And don’t forget the cocoa!
Your turn: Share about your favorite (or most recently encountered) book or movie character?