When I finished Ian Rankin’s latest Rebus novel, Rather Be The Devil, all I wanted to do was chat with my Dad. The book ends with a twist I know he would have loved.
Funny how our minds work… I had completely forgotten about the endless lunches Dad and I spent talking about our mutual friend, John Rebus. We both loved Ian’s books. It gave us a connection and the shared reminiscing was a gift.
Then I got to thinking about how books can do that. How stories can bring people together. How they can be the basis for your tribe.
There’s nothing like being with people that enjoy the same books you love!
I met with many members of the Outlander fan club at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference this past October. Now there’s a tribe that has fun! (Maybe that has something to do with the book’s central character being a handsome Scotsman in a kilt!) It was a great reminder how books can be the focus for a gathering.
Reading is usually a solitary act. It’s almost meditative. Your mind can be transformed to a one-pointed focus. A great story can take over your whole world. For that stretch of time you are transfixed.
To finish a book and be able to share the journey with someone else is magical.
Just look around at how many people belong to book clubs.
A shared love of a book can be a touchstone.
When Dad died I went back and re-read all the Rebus books. I was reminded of the genius of Ian Rankin and how he’s created a man Dad and I both loved so dearly. It was a way to connect with Dad even though he was gone. It was a way to mourn the loss and rejoice in our time together.
What a gift Ian gave us.
As I read the last page of this latest book I would have given anything to know what Dad would have thought.