Well I know we're not sure whether you gave me that book on tape or not, but I've gotta tell you: I'm starting to enjoy a trip to the store, and the drive to work, and other automotive travel I decide is necessary so that I can hear some more of Fannie reading Welcome To The World.... I'm pretty sure this is the first book on tape I've listened to, and I don't know if they're all like this---or if it's maybe just the content of this one and how it's striking me at this < airquotes > juncture < airquotes >---but I can almost see how Mary C. Hall felt compelled to break the boycott of the evil Cracker Barrel in order to procure the things, on a 'round-the-country "borrow/listen/return-anywhere at just $2 a pop" deal. (Probably started with truckers as its main customers, doncha bet?)
I've got about a side and a half of the 8 sides left to listen to, and it's not great art, and it doesn't have perfectly marvelous sentences every ten or twenty, and F. doesn't have, or use here, a number of literary gifts I do very much enjoy. But, E.J., lemme tell ya: I want to hear the rest of the story, but I don't want it to end. And that's my favorite reading-a-book feeling, happening in the Pam Dawber now daily.
I'm still betting you are the one who gave me the tapes. After all, you have said you do give books on tape, and, judging how I came across it packed with not-seen-in-a-while stuff, it could easily be 10 years since you gave it to me. (Ten years ago, you know, Denise was already old news.) Surely you could have forgotten by now. Maybe it's in an early volume of the gift log---how far back does the archives go?
I could go on for a while here about themes in the book and why they're striking chords with me now---or hell, I could just mention these notions, these bits of characterization & the novel's world view; why they're striking chords would be implicit to people who know me as well as you do. So I'll skip that and just say thanks, I'm pretty sure, to you.