Tuesday, October 25, 2011


My great-grandmother, who was later the original owner of my home, left our small village of Oxford to attend the New York Institute for the Deaf and Dumb in Manhattan. Her great-aunt, Charlotte Lewis Currier, was the wife of Enoch Henry Currier, the school's principal and a "prominent and progressive man" of the late 19th and early 20th century. The Curriers provided my great-grandmother with a sense of stability she did not have at home, and she was the seeing and hearing companion of...well, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Brian Selznick left me Wonderstruck with his latest novel of the same name. Rose (who was a girl in 1927, by which point my great-grandmother had long been a mother raising her children in what is now my home) is a girl who escapes her father's strict rules in Hoboken and finds her way to her brother Walter in New York City. Ben (who is a boy in 1977 and has recently become both deaf and orphaned in unrelated accidents near his home on Gunflint Lake) is a boy who escapes his family and finds his way to--he hopes--his father Daniel in New York City. Both stories come unforgettably together in this beautifully illustrated tale.

Oh, I have so much more to say about this wonderful book. But first I need to begin my cabinet of wonders. I'm starting with the 1964 New York World's Fair Salt and Pepper Set. I found them in the attic not long after I moved into this old home...they're meant to look like buildings...

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