Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Very sweet.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

My second Lisa See novel, I am finding I like her writing. I believe this novel has more renown that Peony in Love, however, as sweet as this story is I think Peony in Love was a much more complicated, and for me, interesting story.

This story was a relatively simple one of great friends and a rift in the friendship. A classic betrayal and redemption tale. A heart wrenching story but one I've read before albeit with less beautiful detail.

Again I loved the detail into Chinese life and times, the foot binding was torturous to read. I still cannot figure out how or why this was such a common practice for so long. But that's just me not seeing history & being caught up in my own opinions and emotions

This was very nicely written, easy to follow, beautiful and sweet, I would recommend it to others.

Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc.

My oh my. This non-fiction story of several interconnected Latin American young people growing up in the Bronx was at times frustrating and at other times so sad it made my heart hurt.

These young people lost their innocence at a very young age, most of the young women were sexually abused at a very young age, I counted 9 girls that were noted as having been sexually abused, some as early as 2 by family members such as their fathers. Most, if not all and including the young men, had lost their innocence even earlier by experiencing physical or mental abuse by their parents or loved ones, watching a parent be abused by a loved one or by living with a drug abusing loved one.

This is the second time I read this book. My thoughts are more clear about it this time around. Someone asked me why I chose this book for our book club and I couldn't answer. All I knew was that it moved me. This time around I put effort into answering that question.

There was something about these women, no girls, that moved me, I have decided it was the tradegy of their lives.

I found that the men, again change that to boys, in this story would train their daughters to expect men to hold the power in their relationships, in fact they trained them to accept powerlessness at a very young age. The fathers or male figures would give love with strings, handing out "I Love You's" after being unkind or even cruel. The father figures controlled the pleasure and pain in their relationships creating girls that were literally desperate for kindness, love and attention.

Women teach their daughters submissiveness by attaching themselves to their dreams of these cruel men, the dreams were often very different than the reality - often overlooking their cruelty, accepting humiliating circumstances out of a determination to win the battle of who would or could love more...between couples or between a woman and her rivals.

These women are desperate for attention which stems from their relationships with their own fathers. They are children without the skills or role models to become responsible adults or parents