Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In Search of the Thief

I found myself earlier this month chauffeuring my son to a hockey thing that was over an hour’s car ride away. Imagine my delight when he brought along a book to help pass the time.

He was reading The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, a book I’d already read and recommended to him. (Why yes, that is me feeling a moment of parental satisfaction.) On the way home he begged for some ice cream so we stopped at a McD’s off the highway. After we got back on the road and the ice cream was devoured, he went to pick up the book where he left off.

But the book was nowhere to be found.

He searched as best he could while seat belted in but no luck. I assured him we’d find it once I pulled over. So I did just that. We searched and searched. No Thief under the front seats, not under the middle seats, not in the door pockets, not in the glove box, not wedged under the crap on the tray between driver and front passenger.

Gen had gone missing. With one chapter to go.

In addition to feeling acute sympathy for my son being denied the ending of a good book I couldn’t bear to think that perhaps we’d abandoned Gen in the McD’s parking lot some 35km back down the road. My poor book, perhaps lying there abandoned at the mercy of seagulls and tires and the weather. That's no way to treat a good read. On the other hand, it would be about a half hour back. Then another half hour to return to where we were. I waffled. My son said he’d just buy me another copy of the book. But it bugged me too much.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn't leave it.

I had to know if it was back at McD's lot. I had to attempt the rescue. So back down the road I drove. I parked near our former parking space only to watch a big old beige Buick pull into the spot. The view of the pavement was now obstructed, plus it was getting dark, so it would be tricky to see if The Thief was lying there. Um, could we go looking around under the car without looking like thieves ourselves? Well, no. We looked suspicious but we did it anyway.

No luck. No book.

So it was back into the Odyssey, me feeling disappointed the whole 35km back to the turnaround point and further on up the road. Maybe someone else had picked up the book and was enjoying it. That was somewhat comforting.

We arrived home, unloaded all the junk from the car... and found The Thief tucked inside the folded down 3rd row seat.

All that for nothing? Yes and no. I guess just like a good book, it ended well. And there's a lot of satisfaction to be had in that.

5 comments:

Deb Marshall said...

Oh. my. gosh...what a fantastic story (well, not for you in the midst of it). I let my breath out at the end when you said you found it as you unpacked. lol! Had no idea I was even holding it. I must, must read this one, hear great things about it and it just won a sci/fic fantasy award (can't remember the name of it.) Glad you found the book!

Deborah Jackson said...

I left my purse 100 km or more--almost two hours--back on highway 7 at a Tim Hortons when we were traveling home from vacation. We turned around and yes, it was there (but I called them first before we drove back and added 4 hours to our trip).

Lizann Flatt said...

DebM, it is definitely a good book. So's the next in the series, Queen of Attolia. I've got to get my hands on the third one somehow.

Deborah J, I'd drive that far and more for a purse for sure! Happy yours was turned in. :>

elizabethanne said...

I'm glad you went back to look for the book, even though it turned out it was with you all along. That says a lot about you and books, as well as setting an example for your son. (It also gives me hope that perhaps I will find two books I bought a couple of weeks ago in England... if I left them in the hotel room, there's not much hope of going back to look for them!)

And now I must add The Thief to my long list of "must reads".

Lizann Flatt said...

I will go look for your books in England, Elizabethanne! I wish. :> I hope you do find them. That's seriously frustrating.

Thanks for stopping in here!