Adrift in The Guest Room by Janice Lepore

Margaret ran her fingers through her hair, contorted her face, and adjusted her glasses. Muttering seemed to be her ready response to every frustration these days. Why was it when she read some interesting comments, a string of words that tantalized the imagination, an alphabet soup way of addressing an issue, that she could never remember exactly how it went, where she read it, or who said it, without agonizing over who, what and when?

Readjusting the pillows, best she could, she closed the fairly new publication she had been wanting to read. The author’s first two books had been best sellers for several weeks. One was even made into a movie. The premise of this story was how something that happened to the boy when he was seventeen changed his life forever. The author’s face showed that he was fairly young. The back cover of his third book said he lived in North Carolina with his wife and two sons. Where did he get his ideas? Obviously not from the experiences of his many years in the school of hard knocks.

There had been an interesting article in the morning paper about a man who wrote journal style dribble to counteract the drudgery of a factory job for years He wasn’t on the List, so to speak, but his two very different style books had been recognized with several awards. He explained that he spent his mornings with pen and paper at the library and simply reacted to some idea that raced through his head. On the other hand, he acknowledged that he was fortunate to have a wife who was impressed with his ability to describe events and situations; and therefore willing to support the family for a year. It was a challenge he was enjoying with confidence. It made one feel good inside to read this kind of news story.

Back to the novel, Margaret commanded herself. She had to keep her mind occupied. The doctor had been evasive, to say the least, as to how long she would be propped up in bed with an ankle that resembled a tree trunk, and an elephant-sized foot. Muttering aloud, she congratulated herself on having designed such a comfortable guest room with a lovely view of trees and sky. Chuckling to herself, she acknowledged that she had never intended to be the guest!