Before Women Had Wings (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
8 journalers for this copy...
This book is going out as a BookRay with the following mailing order:
glade1 in USA
Tenneh in USA
breeze144 in Canada
charliewendy in Australia
Mary-T in Germany
Eilan86 in Italy
SinfulWays in Austria <----end of Sept. 06 book is on the way here!
Hellie in UK
hshah in India
My favorite thing about the book was how "real" it seemed. The characters were not just good or pure evil, but were human with their good and bad qualities. There were so many touching little things Bird said about her parents and things they had done (buying a stool just for her to reach the sink, making the "spring" box, sewing clothes and gifts, playing and singing and going for rides) that made the bad times even more heartbreaking. It seems they were trying to be good parents but their demons kept them from it. And even I, who have never been abused or committed abuse, can identify with Glory's misery and frustration and almost understand when sometimes it is just too much and she cracks (though I cannot condone it). There was a time when I would have condemned such a mother out of hand but nowadays I am more inclined to think, "There but for the grace of God go I." I was blessed to grow up in a loving family and am still blessed not to have to face poverty or widowhood or abuse. Who knows how I would handle it if I had to cope with all Glory has?
I admired Bird's spunk and could certainly understand her struggle between love and hate for her parents. I have seen people in that same struggle and wondered, how can they love and even defend such a parent? But this book makes that a little easier to comprehend.
The only thing that stands out as strange about the book is those miscellaneous characters that seemed to have little real purpose: the boy in the grove and Big Al, and also the Roberts boy. I can see that these characters all helped Bird learn something about herself (or in the case of the boy in the grove, led her to believe the worst about herself), but they seem oddly out of place in the story. They all appear once and then disappear, even Big Al who said "I'll be around." I felt that I was left hanging by those characters.
I believe the story itself is hopeful but it is sad to read Fowler's biographical information and the interview with her and realize that this was her life and it wasn't tied up quite as neatly as the book. But it is also heartening to see that she has risen above the bad parts of her childhood to succeed as an author.
I loved this book and will look for more of Fowler's books. Thanks very much, KarenBC, for sharing it. I have already PMed Tenneh for an address and will get this out as soon as I receive it.
Update: Mailed to Tenneh via media mail on 2-13-06.
A fantastic book but very emotional. And all the more sad to realize this was the author's life! Thanks for letting me read it.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
going to Breeze144
Overall, a beautiful book. Thanks for sharing!
Waiting for charliewendy's address to send this along.
Released 14 yrs ago (3/20/2006 UTC) at
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Sent along to charliewendy (finally)! The delay was because it took a while to obtain an address!
Thanks Karen and Breeze!
The only part I felt was not believable was when Billy brought Mr Marlow (I think that was his name) home. I can't believe any one would hire some one to do this and, having done so, bring this man home to meet the kids. I know this sounds a bit vague, but I am trying not to spoil it for those yet to read it.
Coincidentally, I have also read Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood and Little Altars Everywhere, this year. Very similar subject matter. I am starting to wonder about those southern States?! Not indicative I hope!
I put this in the mail to Mary-T yesterday. Mary you should receive it in 7 - 10 days. Thanks to Karen for sharing and Breeze for sending.
Thanks for mailing, charliewendy! :)
Well - there are other rings here I need to read - but I promise to try to be fast...
Anyway - I'm really looking forward to read this after I took a quick look inside... ;-)
This is really a great book!
Thanks so much I got the oppertunity to meet Bird and read her story!!!
It's true it's not an easy story. (Besides it also counts for me that the written English language was really good to read)
But it still is a good book that really touched me. Apart from the fact that it does make me feel uncomfortable now and then - I do like books like that, as well as I like no happy-endings... but in fact I think this book has a happy ending... (at least it's a chance for all of them)
As soon as I get the next address, Bird will fly straight to the next destination.
Going to read as soon as I can
Going to read as soon as I can
I shipped it to sinfulways at the beginning of the week
I had read stories like this before, so it was not too hard for me to read... well, i am a psychotherapist. I was an abused child myself too and had to work my own share out as well BEFORE being able to cope with anyone else's misery and being a companion in their healing process. It is not easy. What I find interesting is that people consider this a novel and read it and it has been so successful when for me it reads almost as clinical material -that is probably why i read it so fast!-. I was happy with the ending too...