slice of my life

Friday, November 10, 2006

Connections

I read Jane Eyre this summer. Jane falls for a much older man, a man that really seems out of reach for her because of social class. I recently read Memiors of a Geisha and in it the main character falls for a much older man (when she's a young teen), a man who seems out of reach to her because of the nature of her being a geisha. How did I pick two books so close in plot? The endings are similar, but sort of unreally ideal in Jane Eyre and sad in Memoirs.

I just started a book about China in the 1800s, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I picked it right after finishing Memoirs. It seems like a similar book, in that it's an Asian story, so that's another connection. The main character is Lily, who in this second chapter I am reading, is about to have her feet bound at age 8. Did you know that the ideal foot was 7 centimeters long? Is that possible? The book I just finished is The Secret Life of Bees. The main character was Lily. How did I do that?

These three latest books I read are all about women. The "secret lives of women" in a way. In Geisha, they are living in an all-woman abode. Their job is to entertain men and there's so many rules about that. In Bees, Lily runs away from the bad man and cloisters herself away in an all-woman home. The women save her, nurture her. In contrast, in Geisha, Sayuri is "saved" by a man, as is Jane in Jane Eyre. And now, so far in this Snow Flower book, it hints that as she enters the adult world, she'll be relagated to the upstairs rooms of women for most of her life, not being able to even enjoy a run because of the foot binding! And there's secrets, too---a secret written language for women only. I am not sure if I should so soon be reading another woman-centric book! But I am enjoying this book, and look forward to learning more about this foot-binding culture. And that secret language.

I have always enjoyed books where I could identify with the main character---I remember thinking I liked books told in the first person better when I was a kid. So a woman main character is great with me. I like books about women, strong women, women overcoming obstacles and hardship and in the end triumphing. But after Bees, I am thinking enough with the women books! It was too much of "the feminine devine." Maybe it was the weird, non-biblical, make-your-own religion ideas that really bothered me about that book. Or maybe too idealistic or too many "coincidences" to seem plausible. On the other hand, I do believe that when God's hand is involved, there are no coincidences. But would God lead a young teen to a house where He's not worshipped, but Mary is worshipped?

I also have always enjoyed books about the South, which I identify with again. So in that respect, I did like Bees. That's why I liked Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood. Here we go again with the secrets!! That's again women taking care of women.

I hope I can come into a phase of life where I am well-read. I am finding time to read (in the middle of the night or the car-riders line at the kids' schools), but I have so many books out there, I don't even know where to go next. But my next choice needs to be something completely different!

2 Comments:

  • I read Thge Secret Lives of Bees acouple of years ago during a break in school. Ther ARE so many books and so little time. I don't always read deep books. I need some down time from reality. YOu moght like the book Jewel. I read it for one of my classes. Of course it's about a strong women in the south that fights for her brain damaged child to get an education so that she can be all that she could be in the 1940s. It is a family saga. I have it at home next time you come if you want it. Mom

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, November 11, 2006 9:17:00 PM  

  • That's true---I need some light fare sometimes, and that's kinda why The Bees book got chosen. I knew it was a popular book, so probably easy to read.

    Okay---I'll take Jewel!

    By Blogger jenny, at Monday, November 13, 2006 6:58:00 AM  

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