Evidence Of Things Unseen starts out slow, but purposeful as Wiggins fleshes out her characters and makes them come alive. From the first page the prose is excellent. If you like fine writing with a touch of wimsy, you’ll love this book. The story builds in a natural way and the reader is swept up in the lives of Fos, Opal, and Lightfoot.
Excerpts From The Book
Even now, with the preacher and his bat-wing ears and shiny suit and Adam’s Apple bobbing on his collar as he tried to guide the group tour through the halls of righteous contemplation” Fos’s thoughts were straying from the heard. Maybe he should be ashamed he couldn’t think about the child in any way that captured his attention-his thoughts kept rolling down the sunbaked hill to the torpid river, yellow in the distance like washed silk, like the yellow pollen on his shoes. Maybe he was guilty of a lack of rectitude for wondering about the lives of fishes at such a solemn moment, but how could he not? All those fishes down there in the river in the water where you couldn’t see them, swimming round living out their lives feeding mating giving birth and dying-if you think about that river as a limit of existence then you start to think about the water of that river and all the waters on the earth and in earth’s atmosphere, and then you have to think about those sums of water and they are a limit of existence, too, how all of us are as limited in our native element captives in our glasshouse atmosphere, as the fish are in the Tennessee. -page 120
Litany. It goes like this: No flood, no TVA. No TVA, no cheap electric Power. No cheap electric Power, no factories. No factories, no aluminum. No aluminum, no long-distance bombers. No long-distance bombers, no atomic bomb.No atomic bomb, no oak Ridge, Tennessee.
When the War broke our and before our boys were really in it-before Pearl Harbor-everybody thought the critical material that was going to win it for our side was going to be aluminum. Aluminum, aluminum, aluminum- the whole combatant world was trading in its gold to get some and there was only one country on earth that had the resources the energy and the manpower to manufacture it in quantities to satisfy demand. Whichever side could out-aluminize the other first was sure to win the War. -page 261
So put that theory back inside the can of nuts it came from. -page 303
The waitress came by to check that everything was fine with Lightfoot and when she left Flash said, I rest my case. That woman was flirting with you and you were gawping at your eggs like they had nipples. You’re a handsome boy, for christ-sake. Now watch this-
Another waitress passed and Flash said, Darlin’-?
She turned in time to see him smile and somehow he made his face light up and suddenly he looked a decade younger.
That thing you’ve done with your hair in back, I don’t know what it’s called, he said. That must have taken you some time. I just wanted you to know it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Thanks, she said and raised the coffee pot suggestively. It’s called a shag-non.
Flash picked up his cup and held it toward her. When she began to pour he said, Please tell me you’re not married.
You look for a point of contact, he explained to Lightfoot after she had gone, You don’t so much look for it as let her know it’s already there- let her know you understand her, The second thing is-you must imply futurity. Imply you’d like to stick around. Imply you’re going to stick around. Next,display one glaring, but never fatal, fault. Women like to fix things in a man. They need that. Sure, there are some dreadful women our there, some bitches and some harridans, but- and this is the god’s honest, you can ask each s.o.b. around here-the first rule about women is that no matter how repulsive you might be as a man, however reviled by society you ere,there’s a woman out there somewhere waiting to adore you. Men you wouldn’t trust to feed your dog were getting letters on the inside from the nicest kindest women who had read about them in the papers. Hell, even I got letters. Sometimes I think they are their own worse enemies, Because in her heart every woman’s got to know that if she doesn’t stay the course, if she doesn’t do her man up right, another woman’s our there
waiting to take over. Any man who can’t find a loving woman, it’s his own damn fault. -page 355, 356