Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rachel and the Case of the Anonymous Book

Yesterday, I got a package in the mail, addressed to my maiden name. The return address was from a company called Green Earth Books out of Portland. It seemed like it might have been ordered from Amazon, and I was excited to see that it had arrived.

Then I remembered that I hadn't ordered anything off of Amazon.

I opened the package.

Inside was this book:
Obviously, I thought, someone misses me. Andy thought it must have been sent to me by mistake, that it was intended to another person sharing my maiden name. He thought I should send it back. I, on the other hand, believe that there is only one course of action when you receive a book that has no explanation.

Read the book.

I figure maybe it's a message from the Universe. (It may be more likely that it's from one of my family or friends, and the message was simply lost by the company, but the Universe works in mysterious ways . . . )

It turns out the book is about a family from Pittsburgh, which says to me it was definitely intended for me, by the Universe or otherwise. By now, I'm baffled.

The book, having received 3.5 stars on Goodreads, seems totally unexceptional. It was published in 2002--not recently--hasn't really received any critical acclaim of note (the front of the book hails it as the "perfect summer by-the-lake read," which I would call lukewarm), and wasn't even one of those pesky Oprah book club books. The writing, so far, is fine (not great!), and the plot is pretty mundane. (I have just started the book, so maybe it gets better. I say that for the benefit of the person who may have sent it. I don't hate it--but I am a pretty picky reader.)

Now then--who would send this book? Obviously, they would have to know about it to think to send it. They might have read it, or they might have just heard someone talk about it. My father would send me a book simply based on the fact that it was set in my current city of residence, but this isn't the type of book that my father reads. My mother might read it, but probably wouldn't be inclined to send it to me. It was addressed to my maiden name, which says to me that it's someone from my at least slightly more distant past (more than 2 years ago)--or in the very least, someone who has known me longer as Rachel H than Rachel R.

So, whoever you are, thank you. In a way, I almost hope that the mystery never gets solved. Mysteries are much more intriguing when they're unsolved. Then I could go on this show . . .

I'll let you know if it ever gets solved. In the mean time, I'm going to enjoy the Spring weather that has finally decided to grace us here in the 'Burgh, and finish baking my homemade English Muffins.


  1. Too bad it wasn't a mystery like Agatha Christie. But at least it gives you a warm fuzzy knowing that people are thinking of you.

  2. That's a pretty fantastic mystery. I love those unexpected things in life.