I love traveling to interesting destinations via trains, planes or automobiles. Recently I traveled to an interesting era via a terrific new book, The Language of Paradise by Barbara Klein Moss.
When I read a brief blurb about the book I thought it was everything I wouldn’t like in a novel but thanks to a trusted friend’s recommendation I decided to give it a try.
It takes place in 19th century New England where the main characters embark on a strange experiment.
Gideon Birdsall, a theology student and Leander Solloway, the new schoolmaster (Don’t you love those names??) are fascinated by the idea of uncovering the origin of language itself.
After Gideon’s wife, Sophy, becomes pregnant, Gideon and Leander create a faux Garden of Eden inside a greenhouse. The idea is that this “Eden” will be a place for the baby to live and ultimately reveal the purest form of language.
No one–not even the baby’s mother–is allowed speak to the child living in this glass cage. As you might imagine, things get complicated. I couldn’t put this book down and hated for my journey with these characters to come to an end.
The best part is I didn’t have to board a plane or fill the car with one tank of gas to be transported to a fascinating place and time.