I was driving home while listening to the audio book of Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber. It’s a brisk December day, -3 Celsius.
At this point in the story, the narrator was discussing about how the day of the Battle of Culloden was bitterly cold. Immediately, in my mind, I envisioned a bitterly cold day. -20 or so. The next line was about how the bodies were stacked wet with blood and rain. Rain. Immediately, I adjusted my vision of the cold 21 degrees warmer…
Then I laughed. So much of the story is contained in the perspective of the reader. I know it intellectually, but it always seems to take me by surprise when I see it in action.
A couple of times I’ve had comments from readers of Grace Awakening that baffled me. Sometimes they’ve just misinterpreted something, or missed some detail, but often it is just that their life experience reveals a different view on the events. It’s interesting.
Bitter cold doesn’t need to be -20 of course. I spent a July in Vancouver one year, and the humidity of the city got into my bones and I was cold all the time. It was much worse than the -20 winter days! Living in the dry interior of BC, I don’t like humidity. Perhaps the weather at Culloden, not far from Inverness and the Channel, was that ‘get into your bones’ bitterness, even though it was above zero.
Adjust while reading.