Whatcha Readin'? Wednesday on Thursday

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Let's see. I just finished Peggy Noonan's book on JPII, her John Paul the Great: Memoirs of a Spiritual Father. It was wonderful. And she doesn't sugarcoat it--she deals explicitly with the abuse crisis in the Church, and gives her take on why he didn't respond more forcefully to it. Her explanation is as good as any I've read.

I'm currently in the midst of Mary Gordon's Final Payments. It's our book club book for the month, and I have to have it finished by next Thursday. It's an interesting book--a story about a daughter who took care of her stroke-impaired father from the time of his first stroke, when she was 19, until his death, when she was 30. After his death, she is forced to find a new life for herself--with a job, and something to do. She's lost her identity--as the "good girl who took care of her father"--and struggles to figure out what she wants as a woman. She has fallen away from the Faith, and yet is drawn to the priests in her life, who she recognizes as genuinely good people. She doesn't want the faith of her father, who was very orthodox, and used it as a weapon against any and all in his path, but she is aware that she has lost something by losing it.

She makes some radically bad choices immediately following her father's death--affairs with two married men, for instance--but they seem understandable (not that I'm condoning them, just that I could see how it would happen) given her history. I've not read the end yet (I'm about 2/3 of the way through), so I'll have to wait and see how it turns out.

The writing, though, is beautiful and evocative.

Next on the To Read pile is finishing the Theroux book Riding the Iron Rooster. Or maybe not, since we'll actually be on vacation soon and I might not want to read about some place while I'm actually visiting another!



I'm reading The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. He's an amazing prose stylist and he has the wisdom to appreciate the true beauty of the domestic setting. =)

Here is a passage that made me laugh out loud the other night; it's about one of the characters (Toad!) attempting to do laundry:

Nothing that he could do to the things seemed to please them or do them good. He tried coaxing, he tried slapping, he tried punching; they smiled up at him out of the tub unconverted, happy in their original sin.

I love, love, love that!

Ha! What a quote.

I'm re-reading The Secret Garden currently. Doesn't it feel weird to read something as an adult that you loved as a kid? It's kinda vertigo-y.



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on September 11, 2008 9:49 AM.

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