05 October 2022


You let the logs burn long enough so they made a space between them. You gotta keep the fire new. Every piece of wood needs a companion to keep it burning. Now push them together. Not too much. They also need that air. Get them close, but not on top of each other. Just a light connection all the way along. Now you’ll see a row of even flames.

Louise Erdrich, The Sentence, last chapter

I cried reading the last chapter. I have never read a book that made me cry until now. I also whispered thank you when I closed it. Also not something I have ever done before. I didn't enjoy most of the book, found it hard to get into it but as with all of her novels, I eventually could not stop reading.

What do you get when you travel to the seaside, spend most of your time sleeping, but insist on walking on the beach on your last day? Pneumonia.

But wait, there's antibiotics and also, marriage, which means a man who bakes his secret recipe semolina strawberry crumble to cheer you up.


  1. Tears welled up reading your post. There are so many kinds of tears. My tears just now were healing. Now I want to read The Sentence. The tears of joy came when you wrote of marriage. I am in awe of the ways R loves you and cheers you up. Sending love as you recover from pneumonia. It is a joy to walk on a beach!

  2. Unless you've had pneumonia, I don't think most people realize how sick it makes you. I'll have to look for that book and get well soon.

  3. Love that quote from The Sentence. I hope you get well soon, Sabine. Take care there.

  4. One more thing. There is a blog I read by Chris La Tray, a Metís writer who was among numerous Indigenous writers, including Louise Erdrich, featured at the James Welch Festival in Montana this past summer. Here's a link to his blog which I found about a year ago and have been reading ever since:


  5. I've read two books by her, LaRose and Future Home of the Living God and enjoyed them both. I'll have to see if the library has The Sentence. Sorry to hear the beach did not heal you but gave you pneumonia instead. Get well.

  6. 37paddington:
    You have such a stubbornly robust spirit, even in the face of pneumonia. But take care of yourself, thread the needle, rest. You’ve got a good man at your side. And he’s a lucky one too.