Monday, October 1, 2007

A Reading Weekend

This was simply a reading weekend for me. I stitched a little on my
"Marie Antoinette Sampler," but mostly I just read.

The book that had me racing to the end was "Keeping the House," by Ellen Baker. It was a good story, well written, but mostly just a flowing and easy read about the personal history of a wealthy family during the 2nd WW. The house mentioned in the title is the elegant mansion they lived in for generations which has come to some ruin by the 1950's when a young married woman takes an interest in it, and the family who once lived there. On the surface, it's she who wants to 'keep' the house. The book flashes back and forth between the 1917s and 1950s eras.

Sometimes I love to just fall back in time with books. This one let me see how families handled the love and the stresses of the day....great families, WWII, the suppression of women before women's rights, infidelity, town gossips who destroy the hearts and homes of others, life and death and mistrust, loss and redemption, love stories of soldiers and girls.... all the things we deal with today. But our stage is shakier, isn't it? Or, maybe the human condition can't be measured when it's misery and love... it's all the same intensity no matter what the times or era.

When I see that the human condition is much the same, but with some scientific and technological improvements, I'm a little calmed by that knowledge for a moment. But, then I remember that we're at war in a different way, that we face the perils of Global Warming, famine and plagues, that our young men are dying on a battleground we didn't expect to be on for such a long time. That we face a world where absolute destruction is possible. I acknowledge that America is approaching the same conditions as the Great Depression era, except we have weather conditions that will increase the hardships, and lack of oil supplies that create other problems. I see that most people don't understand why morality counts anymore...and I don't know how they will live through a universal crisis.

So, while "Keeping the House," is a good story to read, it also brings up alot of current thoughts and fears. Sometimes medicine doesn't taste very good and has to be disguised with a bubblegum coating to make us like it better. I found more in this book than I was bargaining for. At the heart, we really haven't changed much over the years.
Go to Barnes & Nobles books to see a review on this book. Most gave it a 5 star rating. I would, too. Such was my weekend!! :)


Lelia said...

I heard about this book -- I have put in a request at the public library -- seems I'm about third on the list.

Sally said...

This sounds like a wonderful book. I really love a book I can get my "teeth" into and lose myself in.

The Silver Thistle said...

Sounds like a fab book. I LOVE books that take me back in time, the further the better, so I can get a glimpse of how it was. I forget who is was that said it but I'm a great believer in the saying "the more things change - the more they stay the same."

My gran (who was born at the start of the century) used to tell stories of her youth and life and probably technology was the only difference between our generations. She had much the same trials and tribulations that I'm having now/have had.

Michele said...

looks like a book I need to add to my ever growing list! thanks for the review :)

Bejeweled said...


Thank you so much for visiting my blog and and for your sweet, sweet comments!

What an extraordinary blog you have!

Loved reading your book review. This is a book I will definitely need to see if my library carries. I also really loved your extensive interpretive post on MA :)

Michelle said...

I love how books can do that to you - transport you somewhere, but make you think about your world right now too. I think you've brought up some really interesting points.

Deborah/LavenderRose said...

I love you all and your comments on my little book review section. It almost feels like we have our own bookgroup! Hugs, Deb