I liked the title a lot better than I liked the book. I was excited to read a book about books that can change you. What I read was a book that spentI liked the title a lot better than I liked the book. I was excited to read a book about books that can change you. What I read was a book that spent too much time angsting. Especially for a 50 year old man. ...more
This book takes place over 24 hours. It sought to identify what it feels like to be on the cusp of something unknown. Do you plan ahead, even though yThis book takes place over 24 hours. It sought to identify what it feels like to be on the cusp of something unknown. Do you plan ahead, even though you can't see into the future? Do you let things work out organically? See how things pan out? What if things don't work out, can you take the pain of that? The couple in this book are both leaving for college on different coasts of the US. They have different perspectives and different goals and we get to come along for the messy ride while they figure things out. I found the book only slightly annoying. I wonder if I was as sure of myself as Clare was when I was graduating from high school. She is maddeningly sure of herself....more
I grew up on a farm in rural Southern Alberta and we frequently had Hutterite visitors to the farm. They would ask to watch our TV every time. We knewI grew up on a farm in rural Southern Alberta and we frequently had Hutterite visitors to the farm. They would ask to watch our TV every time. We knew that Hutterites weren't suppose to watch TV, but who were we to stand in their way? So we would turn on our 13 inch colour TV and they would watch in rapt wonder. I was always curious about Hutterites. I knew a few things: they lived communally, they attended a colony one room school house, they were hard working and we as farmers were afraid of Hutterites buying up all the land. We also knew that the women wore black dresses with polka dots. I had heard about them never cutting their hair, and always hiding it. The men wore all black and had beards and there was always an unmistakable smell of agriculture about them (pig in particular.) I remember visiting a colony or two a few times. The people were so friendly and the children unabashedly stared, then giggled into their hands while speaking in German to each other. So I thought I knew a few things about Hutterites before I read this book, but this book really captured what it was like to BE a Hutterite. It was fascinating. This book really captured how comfortable and idyllic a Hutterite colony could be, while pointing out flaws in a generous way. I wouldn't mind getting to comfortably retire at 45 or not have to come up with new dishes to make for dinner every day. Or how about having a girl come to house every day for a year after you have a baby to clean your house or hold the baby leaving you with two hands to care for your other children. I loved how in the colony, they knew where they belonged and what they should be doing. I also admire those Hutterite who feel they need to leave. How much courage would it take to strike out on your own with nothing but a wife and 7 kids in tow? I felt that this book was a fair assessment of what life was like in a Hutterite colony in the 60s. However, I imagine that things have changed a bit since then. I wonder what it's like now? Perhaps I need to find myself a Hutterite friend.
I listened to the Audiobook. It was read by the author. I liked listening to it because it contains a lot of German, so I feel like I might have been bogged down with trying to pronounce the German in my head....more