Thursday, July 19, 2007

Guest Blog--Two books by Elizabeth Buchan

This afternoon I finished the second half of Elizabeth Buchan's stories about Rose and Minty and the man in the triangle, Nathan. When I started reading Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman, I discovered that I was really grumpy. I am used to reading cozy or English country house mysteries which are puzzles and are great escapist reading but demand nothing of me emotionally. I wasn't handling the desertion of Rose by Nathan for a younger woman well. The adult children of Rose and Nathan were not handling the situation well either. I thought about putting the book aside and starting something else, but Marg had recommended it so I thought, "I'm a hundred pages into this, I'll hang in awhile longer." When I finished reading it, I realized that I really liked the main character Rose and was cheering for her to succeed and overcome all of the problems in her life. I also realized that probably no one under 35 would enjoy the book - or anyone who isn't a woman!

I opened the second book cautiously. Wives Behaving Badly is the story of Minty told in the first person. So this was going to be life from the "home wrecker's" perspective. It takes place seven years later and Nathan and Minty now have six year old twin boys. Life has changed a lot.

As I read the same story from a second view point, I began to realize that I was caught again in the emotional upheaval of these fictional people's lives. And I cared about each of the characters. Each of them made choices that hurt other people and each of them made choices and reached out in valiant ways trying to heal the heartache within their family.

When I read The Memory Keepers Daughter I kept wondering why this book had been recommended by so many people. Now I realize that I did not enjoy that book very much because I really didn't identify with any of the characters or care about any of them. Reading these two books by Elizabeth Buchan, I recognized parts of myself and of many people in my own world and I cared deeply about them; the real people and the fictious characters. Some times I felt pain, sometimes sorrow and sometimes joy and satisfaction as I read. And I think that is the key to deciding that Buchan was worth reading.

1 comment:

Wanna-Be Lit said...

It is so exciting seeing all of these guest blogs. Now I just need to finish a book so I can write another one.