Parents and children
2007-06-15 - 10:53 a.m.
It's hot, and I seem to have little to say.
We're on the verge of summer, and once we've plunged in -- well, then it will be summer. Life will have a different rhythm. That will be nice.
We're having a few people over for dinner on Sunday. I'm sort of looking forward to that, although I'm also wondering where we're going to put them. In the yard? In the house?
I sort of want to string paper lanterns all around the yard and eat out there.
The grass is at least a foot high, though.
Could I cut it?
Last night I read Without a map, a memoir by a woman named Meredith Hall. I admit to having a soft spot for memoirs -- I suppose person who reads blogs might be expected to be interested in memoirs. But they're often interesting.
She grew up in New Hampshire and got pregnant at 16, in something like 1967. The way her parents and her town responded pretty much broke her life, and she has pretty much spent the rest of her life trying to fix it.
It's heartbreaking, and also interesting, in the way that it's always interesting to read about how people put their lives together.
I think it was not an easy time to grow up, actually. Things were changing, but not fast enough. Hall got pregnant in part because the break-up of her family of origin, due in part to changes in society, left her unsupervised and sort of abandoned. But if society had changed enough to enable her getting pregnant, it had not changed enough to accept the consequences. She spent the last five months of her pregnancy trapped in her father's house. She was not allowed outside, because people might see her. None of her friends were allowed to have any contact with her. Her step-sister was hurried away so that she would not come in contact with her.
A lot of the book is about her difficulties with her parents following her pregnancy. She was pretty much abandoned. They never apologize. As you read it, though, you wonder how much of this is due to her being a difficult sort of person. You have no one but the narrator's story. She's pretty stern. I think this is a flaw in the genre, though -- with a memoir, you have no one else's point of view. You don't have Meredith's sister telling you the other side of the story.
A trickier sort of person might have tried to convince you that she really is the reasonable one. Hall sort of leaves you with the space to wonder. She sort of respects the autonomy of the other people in her story.
Then again, they are people that she will see again ...
Anyway -- it's a good book -- a really good book, I think.
Parents and children.
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