As an Australian, travelling in Europe is awe-inspiring. Walking into places like Westminster Abbey or Notre Dame, breathing in their history, singing in services that have been taking place in these building since before my own country was fully charted on the world map… It is a deeply visceral experience that I struggle to put into words.
In Davis Bunn’s latest release, The Fragment, the main character, Muriel Ross, is offered the opportunity of a lifetime when she is asked to accompany a long-time family friend to Paris in the early 1920s. Her hometown of Alexandria, Virginia, seems ‘trapped in the amber of complacency.’ (How’s that for a description?!) She feels like an observer on the sidelines of life, until she arrives in Paris:
Muriel’s excitement left her almost able to stop time. She could number the horse’s plodding steps and find rhythm in the creak of the carriage wheels. She could taste the city’s flavor and name everything except the mystery that lay before her. She never wanted to lose this sense of being alive.
Oh Muriel. I know exactly how you feel! And my whole body hummed with that same excitement when I read this. What a masterful description!