Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A couple of books and a long train ride

Last Friday, I took the train from home to the Bay Area of California...a  10 hour train ride.  It was fun, relaxing (I could read, sleep, eat and then start all over again), and oh so beautiful going over the  Sierra Nevadas. It's scary how much snow there 'isn't' this year tho.  The west  is going thru a drought.  Water is going to be scarce this summer.

I stayed in the Bay Area for a couple of days and enjoyed Easter with my son and his family and then on Monday I boarded the train once again for my 10-hour trip home--with two 3-year olds, twins. My grandchildren.
It was just as fun an experience on the trip back---but different than the trip over. We played with play-dough, colored in coloring books, watched a movie, ate and slept.

Eli had gotten a toy digital camera in his Easter basket--he took pictures of the whole train trip.  Including passengers.  He loves it, and he loved the train ride.

They both did---for the first two hours (of a ten hour trip), they were glued to the window.  It's really a great way to travel if you are taking kids.

Over the weekend and train ride, I did get to finish 2 books that I had started.

Mudbound, by Hilary Jordan is the book I have chosen for World Book Night.

All I can say is: WOW.  I loved this book.  Although loved is a strange word to use as a description for a book that takes place in 1946 on a Mississippi Delta farm--a book that's all about the Jim Crow South, so let me just say that the story really touched my heart.  It was disturbing in many ways, but Jordan made her characters come alive, and they helped tell a riveting, unforgetable story.

So glad I chose this to give out on April 23rd/World Book Night.  I can't wait to share it.

Love Times Three: Our True Story of a Polygamous Marriage. 
I listened to this one on my iPod.
It was told in 4 different voices, one for each of the marriage partners, which I thought a good way to do the audio, since  hearing a different voice  with each chapter when different thoughts, ideas and opinions were stated, made it a bit easier for me to identify with the authors.
That is IF I could identify with their lifestyle, which I really can't,  never having lived it.  But I did feel some sense of compassion for their struggles and prejudices for living this alternative lifestyle.


Goodreads says this:
From a family that inspired 'Big Love's' story of Bill Henrickson and his three wives, this first-ever memoir of a polygamous family captures the extraordinary workings of a unique family dynamic, and argues for the acceptance of plural marriage as an alternative lifestyle.

I am giving it 3 stars, because I liked it very much.  Polygamy has always intrigued me (I hesitate to use that word, because my friend Kathy at Bermudaonion used it when we were talking about this book and I don't want her to think I'm being a copy cat.  But seriously, she recommended it to me because it was just that--intriguing.)  And--- if we are talking about an alternative lifestyle between consenting adults, I can 'kind of'  get that---but I cannot get (even a tad bit)  the Warren Jeffs kind of  polygamist commune fundamentalism.
This story is not that.  This story is something completely different and sheds a whole new light on polygamy, and what it is and what it isn't.

Sometimes, it did seem as if the wives talked more about what made their marriage hard, rather than what made it good, but I think they were trying to answer questions that many main stream Americans have--don't you get jealous, isn't it hard to find time alone with your spouse,  what about the children, etc.

What we forget is that their marriages are based on a spiritual principle, and that is what they are striving for,  not some crazy sex-filled foursome or whatever--it's not about that.   And if I have respect for other's beliefs then I have to have an open mind for  main-stream polygamy.  Right?  I didn't say I agreed with it, just that my mind is open...to reading the book.   And I liked it.
It was very interesting. 

That's what I have been up to.


bermudaonion said...

We loved taking the train in France - it's such a relaxing way to travel.

I'm so glad you enjoyed Love Times Three! I don't "get" their lifestyle either but understand it a little more after listening to that book. I'm not sure why I'm so fascinated with polygamy because I know I could never live that way.

Debbie said...

Me either, but it is fascinating, isn't it. You really should watch Big Love. Like I said, it's kind of edgy, but I liked it. I still have to watch the last season.

Karen said...

Don't let them fool you... it's all about the wild and crazy foursome sex. LOL I bet the train ride was so much fun. I have a friend in Chicago and I'm hoping I can take the train there to see her this year.

Pierce said...

What a fun trip! Bet that was gorgeous scenery. I have always wanted to take a long train trip. Your grandchildren look like they are having a blast.

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