Our local library has a friends of the library bookstore where you can donate books and they will sell the books cheaply to make money for the library. Mom and I went yesterday to get some books and I started my first one and could not put it down until I had read the entire book. I’d read a review once that said it was a good book for genealogist and I HIGHLY recommend it for any woman genealogist. It’s a book of fiction, but it has transformed me-should I say? Yes, transformed me.
It’s a book about 4 women, four generations of women who are all affected by each others decisions. Much like my own family, each generation of women are different from their mothers dramatically and as each woman’s story is told you see why the daughter took such a dramatically different path than her mother. The story starts in 1980 with moving of Emma (the grandmother) from her apartment into a retirement home, and we meet her daughter, Grace and grand-daughter Sue as they tell their stories. Emma will tell her mother, Louise’s story. Louise was born in Germany and immigrated with her husband to the United States because he refused to join the army when he received his draft papers. Emma is born in the United States and marries her husband, Karl because his brother who she was supposed to marry dies during the War, and she feels guilty. She divorces Karl and raises Grace all by herself. Grace is the model 1950s housewife, and Sue is the model 1970s housewife with career and kids. The story takes you from 1894 to 1980 following the lives of these four women and you are literally drawn into their worlds. You can smell the foods they eat, hear the music they dance to, feel the sorrows they go through. And even as you realize who Grace’s father is, you still want her to realize who he is and you want for her to be able to talk to him one more time.
This book was published in 1999, but if you can find it in print at your library, I’d highly recommend you reading it. It only took me about 6 hours to read it. It’s a great book for a genealogist for the fun read, but also for any woman. It’s a Christian book as well, which I didn’t realize when I bought it, but it also talks about the struggles between the Irish Catholics and the German Protestants. My own family were German Protestants, so I enjoyed reading about that part of the book. The meal times sounded so good, since they sounded like dinner at my grandmother’s house. I didn’t realize how much German influence her cooking had until I started researching my German ancestry.
So that’s how I spent my rainy day today. It was too wet to do much else and I had my laundry caught up for once. So I enjoyed a nice long read in my recliner. It was nice to be transformed to another place and time.