I found the story line of The Nest somewhat dull, but told in such exquisite manner that I was captured entirely in the telling, and found myself going back to read and absorb descriptions such as this:
However he parsed it, his future in New York could only be a diluted reflection of his before, a white shade of pale. Evenness defined his present, the by-product, he often thought, of small minds and safe living. In his new after, there would be no ups and downs, no private jets…It wasn’t luxury he missed, it was surprise. The things money could buy weren’t the reward; the reward was to feel lifted above everyone else, to get a look at the other side of the fence where the grass was rarely greener but always different and what he loved was the contrast—and the choice. The ability to take it in was what mattered; the ability to choose was what mattered. (241).
And there I am. A lover of contrast and choice.
Isn’t this the thrill of reading good prose, the excruciating satisfaction of discovering one’s private yearning clarified, synthesized, and with such perfect delivery?