Like my mom's meatloaf, reading a familiar author is comforting. I've been going through a life changing event the past few weeks, but I still crave the written word. I still seek the written word to comfort and placate my worries. My reading meatloaf, yes, my reading meatloaf, is William Martin. Martin's books are full of New England history, incredibly detailed family histories and characters that are oftentimes larger than life. With titles like Harvard Yard, Cape Cod and Back Bay, they may sound a touch prosaic and fluffier than they really are. However, that's a disservice to Martin's skill as a storyteller. Each novel is epic in length and follow a similar format mixing stories lines taking place in the present day and in the past.
Whether Martin searching for lost copies of the American Constitution or tracking down a tea set made by Paul Revere, Martin only uses the 'thing' as a MacGuffin. The true story and the true fun resides in the characters faults, failures and heroics as they chase each other across the New Hampshire mountains, down the cobble stoned streets of old Boston and across the centuries.
With the birth of my daughter a couple weeks ago I couldn't settle on a book to read. Then I saw Martin's Cape Cod on my top shelf. It was perfect. Each time I open the large novel, I smell the salty waters of the Cape and I think of my mother's meatloaf and mashed potatoes.