Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Inventing Wings to Fly Over the Bitter River

This past week has been 'eventful'.  Eventful, meaning on Tuesday, right after I drop Texter off at work at 5pm, I get a call to come get her.  That queasy stomach she had.....well, she threw up on her supervisor telling her she didn't feel too good.  Victim #1 of the stomach flu.  After being up all night, lounging in the bathroom, we took her into Urgent Care and they prescribed some anti-nausau pills and fluids and rest and back home we trooped.  Oh, did I mention they kept her for a bit to give her IV fluids?

Then, later on Wednesday, someone who doesn't need to feel bad, got a icky stomach, along with copious amounts of sinus drainage.  So my time was spend fetching fluids for both my little girls and hoping it stayed down.

Thursday, started out well, in that Texter had made it to the couch and Lady K was a little less clingy. However, at 12:38am Friday morning, I was on my way to the bathroom.  Did you know you could lose about 6 pounds in 12 hours?  Not recommended, but it's possible.

So the three of us have been going from bed to couch to kitchen for fluids for the past few days.  No homework getting done as I can't even summon up much energy to sit at the computer.  But I have managed to down a couple of books during this time period.

The first, is actually the second in a series, titled Bitter River by Julia Keller.

Bell is the District Attorney for Acker's Gap, West Virginia and everything is going to hell in a hand basket.  One 16 year old pregnant girl dead and some mysterious attempted murders to boot.  At 40-something, with the responsibility of being the District Attorney on a small budget in a small town, Bell is often short-tempered and impatient (like so many of us).  Her 16 year old daughter, is living in Washington with her ex-husband after events of the previous year (and book).  And she has to assist the sheriff in solving these crimes.

I could identify with Bell's feelings and her impatience with the small town mentality, all the while she knows and understands it herself.  A good book to read between naps while sick.

But my favorite is by an author I have followed for several years, Sue Monk Kidd.  I appreciated her book, Dance of the Dissident Daughter, and her questioning of her spirituality.  Her new book, The Invention of Wings, also an Oprah pick (which I rarely read them), is a work of fiction based on fact.

Set in the early 1800's in Charleston, South Carolina, Kidd follows the fictionalized life of Sarah Grimke, the daughter of a well-to-do judge and planation owner.  It also twines in the life of Hetty 'Handful', the slave she was given on her 11th birthday.  Telling their story from both sides, Kidd has pieced together a wonderful accounting of both their lives and times.  Sarah Grimke and her sister, Angelina, where actually two of the first female abolitionists and women's rights activists.  Being from the South and wealthy parents made them a bit exceptional on both fronts.

The read is intense at times, especially when you read Handful's accounts of things, but Kidd captures  Sarah's struggle with her way of life and her conscience well.  It was a bit heavy for reading between naps, but well worth the effort. 

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