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Friday, December 11, 2015

The story of a marriage plus a woman's life

Dear readers, I have had a busy fall with teaching and writing and reading and travel. In fact, it's been so fun-filled that I haven't stopped to reflect on the books I've read.  I need to share a list at some point, but here are two books I've enjoyed recently. Both by young women and both intriguing in different ways.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. Happy reading!

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (library) was one of the best books I've read in a long time (and I've read some great books this fall). Masterfully written, the novel tells the story of a marriage from two points of view - first the husband's and then the wife's.   

"Marriage is made of lies. Kind ones, mostly. Omissions. If you give voice to the things you think every day about your spouse, you'd crush them to paste," one character says. Mathilde was a good wife to Lotto. They were a golden couple. He was a well-known playwright and she was his beautiful wife.  But, of course, that was just the surface.  A life and a marriage consists many layers.  This book exposes all of them with many twists, secrets and surprises. And sometimes the secrets are what keep a marriage strong.

The Folded Clock: A Diary by Heidi Julavits (library) is hard to describe. It's a diary, a chronicle of everyday life of a wife, mother and writer. The entries are not chronological but the events do build on each other. The book is playful, mundane at times and philosophical at others. Julavits starts each entry with "Today I…" "Today I received a text from a woman I have never met" and "Today I went to the doctor for a physical" and "Today I gossiped with a new friend about the illness of a woman we scarcely know." Today we marched in our town's Fourth of July parade" and " Today I tried to console my son."  Julavits makes unexpected connections and mediates on time and much more.  Each entry is really an essay that is so interesting that you want to read the next one. Try it and see what you think.