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Monday Hearts for Madalene

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May10_ReadOut_MondayHearts

Monday Hearts for Madalene
Page Hodel
Stewart, Tabori & Chang (abramsbooks.com)
Think back to the time you first fell in love. How the world seemed more alive, wholly vibrant and full of possibilities you had never before considered. Imagine you were able to take that feeling and turn it into a gift for your beloved. Monday Hearts for Madalene is a collection of these gifts of possibilities. When Page Hodel fell in love with Madalene Rodriguez, she knew she had found the love of her life. She started constructing hearts and leaving them on the doorstep every Monday morning so that Madalene would know she was cherished.

Less than a year later, Madalene was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. While she was ill, Madalene revealed that she would sometimes get up at 3 a.m., sneak to her living room window and watch Page create the hearts. At that moment, Page promised she would make a heart every Monday morning, understanding that love transcends mere physical presence. Four months later, Madalene died. And Page has continued to make the hearts. Reading this, you may think “cute, schmaltzy, and what a gimmick.” You would be very, very wrong. These hearts are constructed of found objects, ordinary materials, and extraordinary imagination. The sheer creative power behind each is staggering, the technical execution nearly perfect. But these hearts are more than pretty craft—you can feel the love and care of each radiate from the page to your heart. Never before has the dark night of the soul found such an outlet. Looking at this book is like holding true love in your hands. I hope making and sharing it has helped heal Ms. Hodel. Such healing would be small payment for such a gift to the world.

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Angel Curtis

Angel Curtis is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.

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