Day 6... leaving Fort Worth

A scant 4.5 hours puts us in San Antonio where we will be for a few days. Should finish the Baldacci book in the car. The book is getting better. That's good since it is almost over. Sock knitting is progressing nicely.

It will snow here tomorrow so we are heading out just in time. I see it is also snowing in Madison. I guess it will be rain in San Antonio tomorrow. I really hope we see some nice weather.

I just finished the book The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean says... A carefully constructed and sparsely told novel, The Madonnas of Leningrad tells the story of the siege of Leningrad through the deteriorating mind of a woman who survived the war as a staff member hiding in the cellar of the Hermitage. Author Debra Dean tells a delirious story through flashbacks driven by Alzheimer's in the mind of Marina, an elderly survivor now living in the U.S. who has spent most of her life suppressing her memory of the terrible year she spent in the former palace that now holds some of the greatest artistic treasures in the world. At the beginning of the invasion the art that had been housed at the Hermitage was boxed up and shipped away. As a promise that it would be returned one day, all the frames were left hanging empty on the walls. Marina survived the deprivation of the siege by memorizing the placement of every painting in the collection. She would spend her days walking through the museum placing the missing paintings back into their frames, building a "memory palace". As is often the case with Alzheimer's, Marina begins to return to this pivotal time in her life and wanders her "memory palace" while her grasp of her present continues to loosen.

Dean uses Marina's mental state to construct a delirious dream state from which to conjure Marina's suppressed past and narrates a horrific tale elegantly. Readers experience the horror and sensations of famine, death, sex, cold and loss in great detail, but with poetry verging on magical realism.

This book gave me a look into what my mother's life was probably like at the end.