It’s funny how a memory moment for a character in a novel can conjure up memories in a reader’s past.
After taking the advice I so often give my student readers when seeking the next book on deck, I read the review of a favorite author and selected a new story to explore.
My character, Holly, is old beyond her years, feeling the pull of responsibility for her mother and the well-being of two young boys who live next door with their father, a widower. She struggles with feelings of inadequacy and lack of experience.
Holly recounts a vivid memory of attempting to pass the sugar bowl at the dinner table, failing miserably because her hands were wet. The sugar bowl, her mother’s prized possession, falls to the ground and the handle breaks off, scarring both Holly and her mother in more ways than one.
While my own memory isn’t as clear, I too, had a run in with a sugar bowl at an even younger age. I was helping my mother prepare for a house party where she and my father would be entertaining some friends. I am told that I was running to the table with the bowl and must have lost my footing. I fell and the sugar bowl came with me, forming a jagged edge and leaving a physical scar on my knee that lives with me to this day.