Lovers reunited; during sex, she's thinking how much he now means to her; he's now thinking how much she once meant to him. They're at odds mentally,Lovers reunited; during sex, she's thinking how much he now means to her; he's now thinking how much she once meant to him. They're at odds mentally, still. Benjamin, the "he", is a true asshole though, no question.
I love Minot's imagery, ability to connect memories to current moments, and her analogies. It's almost like a book of psychology. As she weaves us back and forth between their present engagement and thoughts of their pasts, I continued to wonder how they were going to wound up at the story's end. It's what kept me in. The act itself was an interesting backdrop, but it made the story longer than expected. Very sad piece....more
As a writer, wife, and mother, I expected to feel a stronger connection to Sophia - the artist, wife, and mother. Yet, my connection to Nathaniel HawtAs a writer, wife, and mother, I expected to feel a stronger connection to Sophia - the artist, wife, and mother. Yet, my connection to Nathaniel Hawthorne - the introverted writer and author of The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables - was just as strong. This was an engaging narrative told by Sophia, opening my eyes to another century, allowing me the opportunity to experience moments with the great literary leaders we've read about (The Brownings, Thoreau, Emerson, Melville, and others). Not just that, through her account, I walked along with her, smiled with her, mourned with her, and commiserated with her as she set aside her passion to concentrate on the children and provide the time that Nathaniel needed to feed his muse. I sympathized with her a lot since she had to silence hers. To Nathaniel, it was to lessen the violent headaches her muse would bring against her; to her, it was because she didn't have that same uninterrupted time to entertain it. Pieces that she did create were primarily kept at home for them to enjoy, since to Nathaniel they expressed their passion and love a bit too much to reveal to the public. Unfortunately, for Sophia, it silenced her public work even longer because she didn't have the time to create much more after that - which, to her, was a detriment to their finances for many years.
This was also a warm and beautiful love story, in spite of the many cold months expressed. They worked through the troubles and they were best friends. She understood his brooding moments and left him to them so he'd either listen to his stories or simply be. (Unfortunately, in one instance, when she was on a roll with a sketch - after the children were born - he foolheartedly interrupted her causing her anguish, grief, and the risk of losing her thoughts. I cringed since I've been there!)
Erika Robuck's extensive research in their lives through books, photographs, and travel brought Sophia's families and their era to light for me. There were many poignant moments. We watched them mature well and develop the expected wisdom it brings. The nineteenth-century prose was poetic. It also felt authentic. I enjoy historical fiction and I expect to become a part of that landscape of which I'm reading. In this case, I did, within a very enjoyable story.
My favorite line - which I informed the author via Twitter: "Company is a burden to those at home in the solitude of their souls". Sophia spoke those words of her husband who was ill-at-ease in large crowds and overall superficial social settings. I understood it quite well, I must admit.
Highly recommended read for those interested in other writers, history, and historical fiction....more
Interesting short by Mantel about an author's experience in her travels to a reading group event as well as the events that take place upon her arrivaInteresting short by Mantel about an author's experience in her travels to a reading group event as well as the events that take place upon her arrival. Witty and even dark little read with moments of melancholy and snappy tongue-in-cheek humor. It's from her short story collection, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher and since I'm still burning here waiting for the third of the Cromwell series with my love of not only that story, but her storytelling, I'll be reading the collection very soon....more
A friend recommended this book to me years ago. In fact she lent me her copy. I saw a copy in the library today and realized I hadn't logged it here!A friend recommended this book to me years ago. In fact she lent me her copy. I saw a copy in the library today and realized I hadn't logged it here! Considering how I needed something comical then, this seemed to work as I remember laughing out loud at times. It wasn't lighthearted all the way, but Sanchez's style and tongue-in-cheek moments made it a fun, interesting read....more
A luscious, lyrical account of a woman at the turn of the 20th century Louisiana who realizes she's more than someone's wife and mother. An artist, alA luscious, lyrical account of a woman at the turn of the 20th century Louisiana who realizes she's more than someone's wife and mother. An artist, also, with the drive and determination to carve out independence to create and to become the person she missed out on before marriage and motherhood - Edna finds that she wanted Life. She's also desperately in love with another man, yet she's not willing to be possessed by him either. She wants to have a sense of control of her own life. However, she was already controlled by her position of being married to a wealthy businessman, the social stigma, expectations, and obligations that came it that position. She was depressed, within a darkness she wanted lifted. She was somehow unable to reach peace. She understood it, a little, but she couldn't speak of it to anyone. Back then, the situation had no name - to men, it was the trait of being a woman. A "mood". But it was more, it was the desire to feel life and women had no say once married how they were to live unless they wished to lose their status and comfort. Widows and spinsters with whom she befriended understood their lot and seemed to accept it.
Written in that era, Chopin set the literary world upside down by depicting such issues of a woman who comes to realize the value of living for herself, through her talents, through her own sexuality beyond procreation. It wasn't unheard of back then, just unspeakable.
Chopin's account was full of details. Descriptions of the water, the food, Edna's feelings - all amazing in depth and richness. She put the reader so close to Edna. I felt I was walking along side her much of the time....more