I finally have my act together enough to sit down and write this post. It should have happened a couple of weeks ago, but you know how it goes. Summer vacation suddenly hits, and all you want to do is absolutely nothing. Plus, I recently discovered the newest season of BBC’s Sherlock, so of course that had to all be watched in a day. But anyway, here we go.
The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott (I spoke about this book already here.). I am inspired to read certain books based on conversations between my mom and my Nana. Around Christmastime two years ago, my Nana was telling my Mom about this book, and I was listening to their conversation. The way I heard my Nana describe this book was enough to interest me. This story is about a young girl who has the ability to heal people, but every time she does, she dies a little bit. This story examines individual responsibility versus societal duty. It hurts to read, because of the conflict between the individual characters, and the people demanding things. Plus, the story brings up the question of “What would you do in that situation?”. The answer I had before I read this book is very different from my answer now. I love books that make me think and re-evaluate my morals, beliefs, and my ideas about myself, books like The Color Purple, anything from Dan Brown, etc. And I love books that stay with me, dancing around my heart and mind, for a long time after. The other thing I really liked about this book, was the writing. It was beautiful. It reminded me a lot of my favorite book growing up, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. Simply, this book was wonderful.
The Black Madonna by Muriel Spark For my online class, I had to read a short story, and write a literary analysis on it. I chose The Black Madonna, simply by flipping my textbook open to an author I hadn’t read before. This story is an interesting one, for many reasons. It analyses the power of religion, religious judgment, racism, cheating, mixed race genealogy, and probably the most powerful of all, the difference in the types of mothers, particularly in regards to socioeconomic status. This story is named for a carving of the Madonna, done in a piece of black wood, that was gifted to the Parkers’ Catholic church. Raymond and Lou were a white couple who had been married for quite some time, and were without children. Eventually, it began to circle that praying to the Back Madonna for a child, would produce a child. When Lou does have a child, the daughter is of another skin color. This causes problems, as prior to getting pregnant, the couple had friends who were black. They end up deciding to put the child up for adoption, believing it was the right thing to do. The Parkers lived in a wealthier area, and had a bit of money. This contrasted greatly with Lou’s sister, who was a widow with eight kids who lived off of welfare. This was an interesting story to read because of the layers of meaning and themes. I liked how plainly Sparks laid out the hypocrisy and judgment in religion, and how she contrasted the mothers, but I really didn’t like how the Parkers handled their daughter. Their behavior makes sense in the story, but it just puts a sour taste in my mouth. Instead of acknowledging the possibility of black in their ancestry, the Parkers would much rather put the child up for adoption, thinking it was a mistake. Something about that just doesn’t sit right with me, especially after how Lou judged her sister for her choice of parenting. The Black Madonna certainly gave me a lot to think about, but it’s not one I will probably read again for a long time.
What about you? Have you read anything fun and interesting?
Ciao for now,