When we’re adrift, a great novel can help us find our place. For Erin Van Rheenen it was a Raymond Chandler classic.
Think of all the books left behind by travelers at hotels around the world. This story starts with just such a collection, at a beach hotel in Costa Rica, the usual assortment of novels you’d never buy and self-help books promising quick fixes.
I could have used some fixing. I’d quit my job, left my marriage, and was on the run from a country I no longer recognized. Before you get any ideas, this was back when George Bush was making us wonder just what it meant to be American.
I was about to get an unexpected answer.
The paperback had been left out in the rain, drying warped and ridged. Its title matched its watery history: "The Lady in the Lake," by Raymond Chandler.