14 hours ago
Friday, August 19, 2011
The rules of men are strange and complex things. If I hadn't opened this book, I would have thought a Hutterite was a person wiped out by the Israelites in the Old Testament. Now I know otherwise. For anyone who has contemplated communal living this is an interesting look into the positives of shared work and the negatives of arbitrary rules. I loved the pictorial way they talked. For example, one of the Hutterite women bemoaned that her daughter was "a jar without a lid", because she didn't have a betrothed. May my Emily and Jane be jars without lids for a while yet.
Now walk in Afghanistan as a woman in full veil with her male escort as the Taliban changes life as you know it. This is a remarkable story of survival as a seamstress. After reading this I looked around my house and appreciated all the labor that went into the stuff around me. As these modern women put in 13 plus hour days hand-stitching elaborate designs by oil lamp, it makes one appreciate the reliability of our utilities and the ease of a western woman's life. Talk about carpal tunnel and sore eyes. Despite their false religion, they had an admirable work ethic and familial devotion.
Recommended by a new friend, I found it interesting that U-boats were in the Gulf of Mexico and the logistics of being so far from German soil. Andy Andrews (love the name) digs up a mysterious box and weaves a sweet story behind its contents. His characters slowly choose to forgive the unforgivable. Releasing their justifiable anger allows a love story to unfold. The author leaves you guessing whether it is fiction or fact. (Also published under a different title...The Heart Mender)
What can I say? This was the wild card book. So last month I heard about this Oklahoma woman who has turned the blogging world upside down with her anecdotes and recipes. Well, understandably why. She is funny and straightforward and passionately in love with her husband. It is a good combination and it makes a steamy and relateable read. I am glad I married a secret cowboy.
If you can ignore the old earth, global warming hype and the author's prejudice against Christianity, the storyline is fabulous. This story from the 1850s in search of the northwest passage makes modern sailors look like sissies. I loved how the Moravian missionary on board accredits God with changing the bawdy behavior of the men over their four years in a frozen land. The danger, deprivations and death seem so harsh, but the men seem amazingly resigned to their hardships and subordinate to their commanding officer. In the Arctic they were dealing with -65 degrees, even in Michigan the temperature rarely dropped below 0. These were manly men.