There were a few books that I can easily group together from last month’s book a day challenge, so I’m trying to get those out of the way first. These three books were all written by women writers and for the most part I had similar feelings about them.
The Writing Life. Finished 9-25-17, rating 3.5/5, memoir, 111 pages, pub. 1989
Annie Dillard has written eleven books, including the memoir of her parents, An American Childhood; the Northwest pioneer epic The Living; and the nonfiction narrative Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. A gregarious recluse, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. from Goodreads
I admit that I picked this up at a book sale because it was short and I’m so glad that I made the impulsive choice. I’d never read Annie Dillard before, but found her writing beautiful. She doesn’t make the writing life sound like very much fun, but I loved the honesty and the insight into how a mind can go a little nutty while writing. If you are a writer or even just want an inside look into the writing life I think this slim book is worth reading.
A Year By the Sea. Finished 9-14-17, rating 3.5/5, memoir, 190 pages, pub. 1999
During the years Joan Anderson was a loving wife and supportive mother, she had slowly and unconsciously replaced her own dreams with the needs of her family. With her sons grown, however, she realized that the family no longer centered on the home she provided, and her relationship with her husband had become stagnant. Like many women in her situation, Joan realized that she had neglected to nurture herself and, worse, to envision fulfilling goals for her future. As her husband received a wonderful job opportunity out-of-state, it seemed that the best part of her own life was finished. Shocking both of them, she refused to follow him to his new job and decided to retreat to a family cottage on Cape Cod. from Goodreads
I really connected with this woman who was feeling out of sorts in her life. Her sons were on their own and her husband came home and said that he had taken a job that would force them to move. I got her. I was rooting for her when she embraced new challenges on her own. I’ve never lived on my own, always having a roommate, so I was living vicariously. It started strong, but she did lose me a little halfway through. I liked then ending so, all in all, I’m glad I read it.
Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage. Finished 9-29-17, rating 3/5, memoir, 145 pages, pub. 2017
Hourglass is an inquiry into how marriage is transformed by time–abraded, strengthened, shaped in miraculous and sometimes terrifying ways by accident and experience. With courage and relentless honesty, Dani Shapiro opens the door to her house, her marriage, and her heart, and invites us to witness her own marital reckoning–a reckoning in which she confronts both the life she dreamed of and the life she made, and struggles to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become. from Goodreads
This slight memoir flitting around her marriage from before to beginning to present with little vignettes about things that happened over the years of their 18 year marriage. The writing was beautiful and some of it was thought provoking, although I had expected it to go a bit deeper. I enjoyed the writing so I’ve to added some of Shapiro’s fiction to my reading list.