My plan was to wait for a signed copy of Karen Hesse's Safekeeping. But after seeing the familiar cover on the bookshop shelf yesterday, I had to get it then. What do I love about it, this story with such dire circumstances and a country in trauma? I keep asking myself. Is it Radley's voice, honest with both certainty and uncertainty? The photographs interspersed with the text so thoughtfully to make me pause as a reader and see more of what my mind has imagined? The many times Radley reaches into her backpack to touch the knitted bear her mom sent to the children at the Haitian orphanage (and that was stowed in that backpack by an orphan named Jethro)? The incredible way Karen's writing makes me a partner with Radley as she travels the long miles of Route 101 in New Hampshire and Route 5 in Vermont?
With wonder and tears, I have read and viewed this book again, grateful that Karen's insights as a writer and observances as a photographer have come together perfectly. For her thoughts about the selection of photographs, see this post: http://karenhesseblog.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/the-library-jewel-wrote-the-photography-in-safekeeping-adds-so-much-to-the-story-and-it-is-your-work-talk-about-the-process-of-gathering-and-selecting/