Books that make me stop and ponder

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Books that make me stop and ponder

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Jul 27, 2012, 5:09 pm

I have just finished reading The Paris Wife by Paula McLaine and Death on the Family Tree by Patricia Sprinkle. 2 very different books. The Paris Wife caused me to reflect upon the shallowness of the Lost Generation. Their lives were one continuous party --- and they were miserable. How many of these gifted writers and artists committed suicide or died violently? So many members of the Lost Generation are among my favorite writers. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Anderson... Each had his own style. Each was gifted.

I appreciated McLaine's portrayal of Hadley Hemingway not as the scorned wife, but as the victim in an emotional battle with life.

Death on the Family Tree is set in contemporary Atlanta, GA. The characters are wealthy, but not necessarily happy. The main character, Katharine, is searching for new meaning to her life since her children have left home and her lobbyist husband works all week in Washington,D.C. She is alone. As she begins to realize that she is in control of her own decisions about her home and her activities she inherits unwanted "bits and pieces" from an elderly, now deceased, aunt. In these boxes Katarine discovers an ancient necklace and an old diary written in German.

As I read this mystery I became aware of how my life is similar to the character Katharine. My children are grown and married. My husband does not have the same interests as I. He is much too busy raising registered Angus cattle on our small ranch.

Katharine's decisions to take control of her own decisions caused me to re-think my life situation. I admired her tenacity.

Ago 17, 2012, 5:37 am

Thanks so much for the post, Gigi. While as a reader I'm not really interested in the works of the Lost Generation, as a historian I am intersted in their personas. I will agree that they were "lost" and imho had no purpose in life. I have read Heminway's The Sun Also Rises, which I would think pretty much chronicles his own miserable life in Paris/Spain.

I have not read Family Tree, but again, I think that chronicles 80% of use that are empty nesters. We ask the question of the person we are living with "Who is that?" and "Why did I marry him/her" (we have nothing in common, except the children!)