Sorry to be late, but I’ve been so busy, I lost track of the days. When you’re not keeping track of a work schedule, you can forget the day. Anyway, at least, I do have a topic. What makes a book a keeper for you?
I have about 20 books that have been on my keeper shelf for years. Some, I read a long time ago, lost through the passage to adulthood, and re-discovered later. Some went on the shelf the minute I finished reading them. Looking over the titles, I can’t discover what it was about each one that made them keepers.
THE SARACEN BLADE by Frank Yerby: a story of an Italian bastard born to a serf mother and noble father who, despite his small stature, wins fame, fortune, and the love of his life as a mercenary. Okay, historical…yeah, I love a good historical. And, even though I read more of Yerby’s work, this is the only one where I even remember the plot.
MADSELIN by Norah Lofts; a story were a beautiful Saxon widow is forced to marry her Norman conqueror to protect her people. A common historical romance plot, but in this story, the hero/heroine barely talk to each other. Yet, through their actions alone, we see the relationship grow. Even though they NEVER tell each other they love each other…we know it by the end of the story.
MESSAGE FROM ABSOLOM by Anne Armstrong Thompson; a Cold War romance between a former CIA agent forced back into the business in Bulgaria and one of the best Russian KGB agents who hunts her. I accidentally picked up this book, thinking it was a political thriller. Never could find any of her other books. Maybe she didn’t write any others.
MELISSA by Taylor Caldwell; the story of an emotional abused woman, slavishly devoted to her manipulative father and the man who refused to give up on his love for her. In the beginning, there was nothing attractive about the hero, but as the book developed, you realized he was a knight in tarnished armor who was the only one to save her.
You’ll see that the main thing that decides for me what is a keeper is characters. I especially like characters who are outside the box when it comes to the expected. It doesn’t matter what time era or plot or popularity of the masses. Give me great characters who do the unexpected and succeed and you, too, can end up on my keeper shelf!