Ooo oo oo. I went to the library & there were 5 books waiting for me. It was like Christmas!!!
What was I thinking to reserve all those books?
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I don't believe I have written a review for all of the previous nine Mary Russell stories, but I know I have enjoyed them all. Some I have enjoyed more than others, some less. I remember when the last story ended it was not finished. This story finishes the last.
And I remember wishing that story had finished before it ended. So I was really looking forward to this new novel.
I think I enjoyed this as much as I did some of the early ones, better than some of the middle ones. I really enjoyed the character detail of Mycroft, this mysterious brother to Sherlock that has never really been delved into in the previous books. As in the last one I have enjoyed learning more about Sherlock & his son and the intricate details of his sons life and how it has evolved.
The Help brought me to this book. An edited collection of first person stories from both the black and white sides of the southern experience of life with domestic servants.
Like life in general this book was full of every imaginary take on domestic servility. Servants that hated white employers, were approached or molested by their white male employers, whites who didn't see anything wrong with the frighteningly low wages paid to servants, didn't see the truth that the servants felt obligated to agree to anything their white employers suggested, the trap that this whole position was. I find the explanations for the white employers ignorance of the black servants situations revealing and completely understandable. I can see how some white employers would have to live in ignorance, if only to be able to live with themselves.
This reminds me of the book American Pictures by Jacob Holdt. In his travels through the southern United States in the same time frame that these interviews were taken, Mr. Holdt found what he thought of as remnants of the Master/Slave environment. He found whites with serious alcohol problems and little soul, blacks with problems getting ahead, as if they didn't know how to grow or change with the times.
Both books wrote of changes and over twenty years has passed since both transpired, plus I lived in the deep south for ten years and witnessed a different world. I expect that times have changed for both groups by now but it is extremely interesting to read these edited first person accounts of life as they knew it. A little bit of history is always a good thing and so very important to our future as healthy human beings. I wish everyone could read both of these books and learn of a better way to live and think. I wish all of us could be forced to address our inner bigots.
This was recommended as a nice easy summer read and I have to say that it was. The story drew me in quickly. The personal account of domestic servants in the south was so moving. I have read similar stories in the past that touched on the lives that servants lived in the south but I don't think I have ever read one that seemed so complete.
It was heart renching to read of the love and caring that the servants had to supress for the children they raised, the hurt they had to live with when the children turned into bigoted tyrants like their parents.
I wanted more, I neede more. So I read the next....