Heather Mize's Reviews > The Optimist's Daughter

The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty
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Jan 19, 12

Read from January 17 to 18, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

"You've made it out just by the skin of your teeth" Tish says to Laurel as she is leaving for Chicago.

We all escape our memories and our pasts just by the skin of our teeth.
Welty's novel is a study of human nature and how we handle ourselves, especially when most tried by the pain of loss and death.

What we leave behind sometimes leaves room only for what we keep. When we see each other clearly, we see ourselves.

I am fascinated by Laurel's ability to so quietly bend against her nature. Characters who are so boldly opposing to my nature tend to strike me sometimes. I think it's just the curiousity about human nature and why we do, or don't do things.

This is a book I know will resonate with me, and that I will need some time to digest. It's beautifully written, in it's brevity. The complex science of fiction writing is seen in Welty's work- in her ability to establish her cast of characters, depict their grief, and draw you in, but not too close. Her characters, some of them realize their own flaws and shortcomings. Others do not. There are no hard won lessons here, but rather the lessons of life that reach us on a whim. Similiar to the saying that adversity does not build character, but reveals it. So, Welty reveals a collection of characters for us here.
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