So many of characters and stories from his novels have stuck with me, and I actually apply some of his terms to my daily lexicon. For example the people from Stay More are called Staymorans. A Staymoran is that wonderfully hospitable person who can be falling asleep in a chair and as you get up to leave they say, "No don't leave, stay more." I am very fortunate to have several Staymorans in my circle of friends.
Everytime I have read the AOTAO, I laugh out loud, until I am howling like a fool. I love this book so much I hate to get to the end of the book, it is like saying good-bye to close friends. Another of his novels, The Choiring of the Trees, was an enthralling mystery so much that I could not put it down. I called in sick to my job so I could finishing reading the story. The main characters, Nails and Viridis, captured my imagination so much I can almost see them walking hand in hand through the Ozarks.
I have loved many of Harington's books, but these two are in my top ten favorite books, up there with Jane Eyre and Temple of My Familiar. He was able to tap into my rural roots with an intelligent narrative. Donald Harington, a person I had meet but did not know was able to touch my life and make a connection with me in a way only a good author could, for that I am grateful.
This gratitude is especially important today. Harington died yesterday (www.fayettevilleflyer.com/2009/11/09/donald-harington-dies--at-73/ ). Though it makes me sad to know this eloquent artist has passed, I am so thankful I have his novels in my life. I say thank you to Donald Harington and all the residents of Stay More, you made my world happier.