What Florence is to you (and the winner of One Thing Stolen)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I asked readers of this blog to tell me something about the way they think of or remember Florence. What is that building, that bit of landscape, that dish, that way of walking, that weather that is Florence to you?

On my blog and over Facebook they answered—so many lovely responses that I find myself simply wanting to list them here. To you, to those who stopped by, Florence is (in part):

The trip Florinda and her art major husband will take to Italy before this decade is through.

That moment when Sandra Bullock says, in "While You Were Sleeping," "And there would be a stamp in my passport and it would say Italy on it."

A statue of Bacchus.

The stories Hilary's backpacking sister would tell.

The cement slab that sloped down toward the river.

The smell of leathergoods shops on the Ponte Vecchio.

Florence and the Machine.

A woman named Florence who helped Lisa feel hopeful about staying intellectually engaged at any age (and being kind while you are at it).

Outdoor cafes and hot waiters who are working to pay for their art.

The Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, the Duomo, a city close to the city where George Clooney got married.

Two small gold rings.

An art history class.

Renaissance art.

The nearby beaches.

The similarities between the Arno and the Schuylkill (woman after my own heart, that Victoria Marie Lees)

A mother, now gone, who lived the dream of traveling Italy.

(And so much more.)
This morning I've asked my sleepy husband to give me a number (each entry had a number). His number correlates with Amy, who said that Florence is, to her, the cement slab that sloped down toward the river (and where she wrote in her journal).

Amy, I can't tell you how cool it is that you have been randomly selected, for a very major scene in One Thing Stolen takes place on that very cement slab. Please send along your mailing address so that I can send you a copy of the book.

Looking forward to seeing my Chronicle friends and the teachers of NCTE (and wonderful, intelligent, blessing-of-a-friend Debbie Levy!!!!!!) next Friday/Saturday in Washington, DC, where more copies of One Thing Stolen will be shared. I'll be at the Chronicle Booth at 3 PM on Friday.


Serena said...

I am going to take a few hours off of work to see you in D.C.! I cannot wait!

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