Raifta Posted February 6, 2017 Share Posted February 6, 2017 I will freely confess that I do not get the Kate DiCamillo love at all. The only books of hers I've tried I did not like. I thought they were way to emotionally disturbing for the age of kids the stories seemed to target. I'm sorry for your poor sweet girls, and agree with Lori D's suggestions - find something sweet and life-affirming for them, pronto! They will enjoy reading the dark stuff soon enough, but no need to rush it. My girls are 10 and 14 and one is one either side of that divide - my dd10 hates stuff where moms die or sad dark things happen. Dd14 has just in the past year started to enjoy a darker story that makes her think and question things. I'm not sorry to have waited with older dd till she was ready. The few times we've done DiCamillo's books as read alouds, we have not enjoyed them either. I've found the tone to be very off - we don't avoid dark subject matter but these ones have not had anything to balance that feeling IMO. DD enjoyed Flora and Ulysses (I think - she claimed she did when she read it) but aside from that they've all been busts. As for my reading, I finished The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom â€“ a story set in the south during the late 1700s when slavery was an accepted fact. Told in alternating perspectives between a young white girl/woman who became an indentured servant for a wealthy family after being orphaned on her way to America from Ireland and a young black woman who is the daughter of the husband of the family and who has had some advantages thanks to this. Follows them over a period of 20 years or so. It very much had the feeling of â€˜and then this happened, and then this happened, and then this happenedâ€™ as if the author needed to cram in all the events and they were just happening one after the other and we didnâ€™t ever get a chance to breathe, to reflect, to deepen the characters. In short, it seemed superficial. Also, I know that it was a time when women didnâ€™t have a lot of power but it seemed very much a story in which things happened to the women, over and over and over, and they never controlled the ways things went. I found it frustrating to read but it was for book club so I read it. Part of my feeling might be coloured by the fact that it was recalled by the library and I had to rush through the last half of the book so I could return it on time. Also read North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My counterculture Family, and How I Survived both by Cea Sunrise Person â€“ well, I have no idea what draws me to these tales of families gone awry but I do enjoy reading them when they are well told and I felt this one was. It was not overly dramatic but yet full of terrible things happening, and you got the feeling that the author was very much trying to figure out not only how she survived, but why she lived the way she did and how it impacted her later in life. It was also a bit jarring in that sheâ€™s only a couple of years older than I am and many of the places she spent time in are places Iâ€™m familiar with so I feel like we could have crossed paths easily and I canâ€™t imagine having my childhood be anything remotely like hers. I devoured this in a day and feel somewhat ready to face the world again. Some compare it to The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and I would agree. Currently reading In the Shadow of the Banyan which is incorporating a lot of Cambodian folklore which is quite interesting as I know nothing about this. And just started Books for Living by Will Schwalbe. I read his End of Your Life Book Club a few years back and enjoyed his reflections on the books he and his mother read as she was dying. I like the episodic nature of the books and the fact that they introduce me to new books that I have never heard of and that sometimes end up on my TBR list. I've decided that I will start my French book Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky during our morning 1/2 hour reading time once I finish The Sky and the Forest. I watched a movie in French (The French Doctor) a few nights ago - it had subtitles but I was knitting so I had to listen closely. It's much harder for me to grasp spoken French than written French, especially with mumbling and different accents. But I'm hoping the reading in French will help a bit. 17 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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