Just recently finished a week off from work and didn't have any major projects planned. Did lots of cleaning, cooking, gardening, knitting, went to the YMCA every day to work out w/J. Did a lot of reading too. First off was The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing
, which I had wanted to pick up for a long time. Unfortunately, I wound up kind of disappointed by this one. The main character reminds me of the narrator of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress
-- clever and smart aleck-y, very open -- saying things out loud that you wish you could say -- but she's very naive at the same time. And she doesn't really grow a whole lot over the course of the book. And nothing really happens. She goes in and out of a couple of relationships, but, you know, that doesn't really count as a plot (to me, anyway). It was a quick read, but I still felt like I kind of wasted that time.
Had much better luck with The Red Tent
-- a friend at work recommended reading this one, and I blazed through it, staying up late to finish it in just over a day. I love this kind of mythic/historical fiction (other ones I enjoyed: The King Must Die
and The Mists of Avalon
). There were great characters in this -- I loved how someone would start out a sympathetic character, then gradually your feeling toward them soured til you were booing them later on. But there was still a sense of integrity of character -- they were still the same person, and you could see where their actions were coming from -- the author hadn't tacked anything onto their personality or radically changed them. That was amazing and seamless. And plot? Oh yeah, stuff happens in this one, big time.
Bonus for me I got to see a lot of midwives at work in this book. I love reading any perspectives about what goes on in the birthing room. (others I can recommend if you're a birth story addict like me are Baby Catcher
, by Peggy Vincent, a hospital-based midwife in California; Midwives
, fiction, with some scary bits; and A Midwife's Tale
, for a first-person, 18th century historical account)
The only problem I had w/The Red Tent was that towards the end it did get a kind of new-agey, post-menopausal/women who wear purple/crone power kind of cliched feel to it. Tough to explain, but easy to spot when you're reading it.