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To Read is To Live

The Garçonnière (Ali MacLagan)

The Garçonnière - Ali MacLagan
Je t’aime, mon coeur, toujours



An interracial love story at Southern plantation between the owner's son and a black slave who are also best-friends (they are the same age) since they were young.

I think my excitement for this story was fueled by two things. One, the prompt was written by a friend of mine, Heather C and I thought it was one of the best in this event. Two, I read MacLagan's work from last year, Window; it was one of the most thoughtful and memorable stories related to HIV test. So I was happy MacLagan was the one picking up the prompt.

After that, Heather sometime updated me with news, even showed me a link MacLagan's pinterest for this story (https://www.pinterest.com/alimaclagan...) so I definitely have built up my expectation. I was so happy when the story was finally available.

This is one of the most beautiful and profound stories I have ever read from this event.

I seriously thought that MacLagan had done a great and extensive research for that era. She didn't pull any punches though -- some scenes were hard to read. Several times I had to take a deep breath, and reminded myself that Heather wanted happy ending, so there WOULD be happy ending for this one. Still, it wasn't easy when you read the parts about treatment towards slaves.

The friendship that later turned into love between Joseph and Henry had that tinge of innocence; it felt pure and true. It was so romantic too, especially when Joseph sang to Henry, or when they danced together. Oh gosh, I so wanted to see this in visual, making a Hallmark movie or something ... it had that quality of an epic love story for sure.

I think the last 10%-15%, I read it with my hearts tied in knots and tears hanging on the corner of my eyes. If I wasn't reading this at the office (hush, don't tell!) with my colleagues around me, I would probably already crying -- my heart was out for both Joseph and Henry. Sure the solution for their situation might feel like a sudden gift from God above, but I really didn't care. It was perfect and I couldn't feel more satisfied.

Thank you so much for this story, Ms. MacLagan. This is why I read stories, because how it can make me feel. And surely you have make me feel A LOT. Thank you. Thank you.