Sunday, December 16, 2007

Another Book Review


Another good read. I think I even found a bit of surprising insight at the end.

The book revolves around an upper middle class family - the promising 18-year-old daughter is involved in a car accident. She runs over a classmate while being distracted on the cellphone. The story is told from the mother's perpspective - and features glimpses into her own past, her underpriviledged life, her own relationship with her mother.

The narrator weighs heavily on the relationship she has with her daughter, she can't understand why her daughter "hates" her - she can't understand because she is nothing like her own mother, right? At the end there is such an "Ah -Ha" moment for me - her daughter confronts her - points out that she feels like the narrator looks at her with disdain. And you know what, she does, the mother realizes that she judges for the priviledged after her own poor childhood - and she sees her daughter as priviledged. Makes sense to me that this woman allowed her own envy towards people who have when she was a "have not" ebb into her family life - even though she provided this lifelstyle for her daughter. She is unconsciously jealous of her daughter's limitless possibilities, the way things come easily to her - until the car accident sweeps that away. I think it is only then that she can see her daughter struggle, almost wants her to struggle because of her own past lack of opportunity.

I am not sure I can get into words what I want to say. But this realization about the narrator was a wake up call for me - I was more of a "have not" as a child and I see a generation of kids with so much stuff - my own children - and I wonder - do I want them to fall on their face because they should "earn" it? I say "they'll appreciate things more if they have to work for them" - but is that really the truth? I know I envy people that I perceive have had things handed to them - and I know it's wrong for me to think this way - it's totally an insecurity thing, fear of being accepted. Makes me wonder out loud what wedges I create because of my envy? I think my own rush to judgment is a downfall, as it is this narrator. I also think it's the rush to judge before I am judged - beating someone to the punch - when who we were is not necessarily who we are.

Why is it at 36 years old I still have to find out ugly things about myself? *ugh* Though seriously, I am always glad to see things in the rearview mirror I otherwise wouldn't have. It's good to have your vision challenged. I do think it is so important to look at yourself, your behavior - I lecture this everyday to my criminal offenders - YOU CAN'T CHANGE ANYONE BUT YOURSELF - but man, to still be figuring out things every day - isn't life just amazing? It is probably a good thing that the journey never has to end - and that it is never too late to change and try harder. So I am resigned try harder.

I feel a little naked after this post - being honest with strangers that I am not perfect - ouch. *sigh - to err is human*

Up next - real knitting content - I hope (I'll feel less naked:).


Blogger Susan said...

Food for thought...

Looove the book reviews, thank you.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Auntly H said...

Thank you for opening that door. It's very brave of you to examine the demons (my word for the "uglies" in the dark corners of my soul) and even more so to do it in front of us.
Wrap yourself in a soft scarf - and consider it a hug from me.

6:41 AM  
Blogger nj2 said...

Blessings to you for the strength to look inside and acknowlege a truth that may not be what you would like to see. Self disovery is a lifelong path and more of us should do it more often and more honestly. I, too, came from a less than priveleged childhood and can empathize with your discoveries. I wonder myself, if our young ones are learning what they need to move forward to become the productive and compassionate persons we hope for them to become. And yet, I do everything I can for my children and my grandchildren to prevent them having to repeat the too early lessons that I was obligated to learn. I agree with aunty h, wrap the scarf snuggly and consider your self hugged tightly, with gentle pats on the back.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Kristy said...

Wow, what an insightful review. It really is amazing that no matter how grown up we get, that little kid we used to be is more a part of us than we ever realize.

It's hard to confront parts of yourself that you don't like. But now you know about it and can start to change. That can only be good :)

9:03 AM  
Blogger peaknits said...

What kind responses - thank you for accepting my imperfections:) It's a drag to see them but can be such a release to realize and move forward a better person!

10:33 AM  
Blogger Marisol said...

Hmmm this is a very insightful and thought generating post! The book seems really interesting and I can see why this topic generated so much angst for you. I completely understand you because I too come from a less than priveleged family and have almost always had to work very hard (if not harder) than the next person.

I have considered many times how I would raise my child --wheather I should hand over things freely or weather I should make him work so that he understands the value of things.

Very thought provoking indeed! What is the right answer? What is the magic recipe? How do you provide your child with all of the opportunities you wish you had and didn't and at the same time teach them to value tings and people, etc.?

Hey you are human as you pointed out and more power to you that you had this self discovery and can now take action:) You know have a leg up hehe...

7:37 PM  

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