Friday, October 2, 2009

Moon Over Willow Run: Chapter 1 Summary

Hooray! Dusty D has received her anxiously-anticipated copy of Dan Patch's Moon Over Willow Run in the mail today, yay! Please allow me to embark on a chapter-by-chapter summary for the edification of kind readers, and myself.

Chapter 1: A young woman, "Thryilla," or, "Trilla," is traveling to San Francisco on a boat. She has never driven a car and does not know that her great-grandmother has just died for no apparent plot-related reason. Trilla has in hand a "radiogram" stating that her cousin Jean will pick her up on shore. She thinks "Jean" is a sexually ambiguous name [note: the humorous gender mix-up Dusty D instantly anticipated here, with a buff male cousin showing up instead of a female one, went sadly unfulfilled--it's the handsome young Bob who shows up to pick her up, not neglecting to "drink in her loveliness" (euww) while doing so].

Trilla meditates on returning to Michigan and visiting what to her family is a holy shrine--the "little white church" at Willow Run where her parents were joined in matrimony. [Now, see, even the stodgy cadences of the writing style of this book are infecting my own style! I meant to say MARRIED in good plain English, not "joined in matrimony." Gah!] Concerning Willow Run, an oblique reference to Henry Ford is made:

"Most of the farms had been purchased by a great industrialist. . . What would this quiet farming community of Willow Run be like?"[I guess if most of the farms are gone, it's NOT a 'quiet farming community' any more, but anyways].

Something about redwoods and Jesus. She tells Bob her nickname is Trilla. "'Readily understood; no one ever calls me Robert any more. I've been abbreviated since childhood!' he laughed." [Who in Tarnation talks like that? No offense, Bob, but if something's been abbreviated since childhood it's not your name.]

Trilla goes to stay with some random missionary folks for the night. She and the superintendent hit it off. Mr. Abbreviated remarks on this, because he remarks on things, often with adverbs, thanks to his puppetmaster Dan Patch--instead of just saying things like normal people. "Anyone would think that you two had known each other all your life," Bob remarked. "Instead, you meet for the first time, coming from opposite sides of the earth, and yet seem to have a perfect understanding. I can't fathom it." [Well, Dusty D is not terribly surprised that you can't, Bob.]

"'It's the common touch of Christianity, my boy,' the sage of many years of missionary experience replied. "'You see,'" [Dusty D HATES it when people say 'you see'--SO patronizing! I ain't blind yet!] "'You see, while we do not know each other, we do know Jesus Christ. He introduced us here in your presence' [Dusty D must have missed him, but anyways]. "'We find that even though we have never met previously, in reality we are old friends'."

[Well, no. You just met, invisible Jesus intro or no. Look, this is hard going. I'm gonna have to do this one chapter at a time if I want to keep an even keel. I have to take a break now, but tune in soon when I return to bring you more about Trilla, Bob, the sage guy, and...Jesus Christ.]


Wystan said...

I hope that Bob doesn't make a noisy job of it, gulping and slurping, while he is drinking in Trilla's loveliness, or he might carelessly dribble drool on his best Sunday shirt. While of course this no doubt will impress the young lady, it won't be the kind of impression the lad wants to make....

Wystan said...

I confess it has been 40 years at least since I last took a squint at my copy of "Moon Over Willow Run." I've fogotten how it ends: does he moon her, or does she moon him?

Dusty D said...

Wystan: Bob is a decorous and upstanding young man, thus far, at least. This, despite the fact that the author has let slip that Bob is not a believer. There have already been a couple of scenes in which Trilla is babbling on about the wonders of her faith while Bob, the angsty atheist, steams silently.

We can only hope he'll come around.

With my typical lack of self-control I DID peek ahead to the ending, but upon detecting smooching, hastily retreated. I guess I'll get there in good time.