The Prairie Bridesmaid: A Novel
5 journalers for this copy...
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Giving this book to K-i-s-m-e-t to take to the monthly meeting at the Park Theatre Cafe.
Thanks for the opportunity to find out for myself, singlelady.
So, will we be seeing you at one of the meet-ups soon? We hardly ever bite! ;)
The book is funny though and, while it probably says more about my own "meanness", I admit to more than a modicum of amusement at Anna's attempts to make life meaningful for herself. Her scrapbook project, for example. I could quite relate to handing over a hundred bucks for some fancy scissors only to end up with a piece of work that maybe a ten year old could be proud of. Her garage sale made me laugh out loud.
Also, I did like Anna's relationship her Baba. That came across as real and touching, especially the making of the pysanky.
The blurb on the dust jacket attributed to Alice Kuipers, author of Life on the Refrigerator Door, suggests that "This is chick-lit for grown-ups." I'm not sure about the "grown-ups" part but agree with the "chick-lit" label. It would make for an entertaining beach read.
And, it puts me on the board as my first book read for John Mutford's 3rd Canadian Book Challenge. A pleasant start.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I'm bringing this book back to our OBCZ for the August meeting to see if anyone else would like to read it. If no takers, I'll leave it on the shelf in the loft to await its next reader.
Here's what I thought of the book:
There's something really nice about reading a book set in one's hometown. You know the streets and places referred to and you can picture them in your mind's eye. Some of the things Daria Salamon says in this book are the same things I've said. For instance, she mentions how small Winnipeg is despite having over half a million residents. One is bound to run into someone you know just when you least want to. For Anna Lasko this means when she is buying self-help books for leaving an abusive relationship she runs into a student that she teaches. Although she really is buying the books for herself she tells the student that she will be using them for an assignment.
Anna has been living with Adam since she was in university. Adam has a temper and anxiety problems. While he's not physically abusive he does belittle Anna and dictate her actions. Currently he is in Germany finally working (he's been in Fine Arts for years and living off Anna's income) but he thinks that he and Anna should continue their relationship. Anna knows she doesn't want the relationship to continue but she is having trouble sticking to her guns. Her friends, Julia, Sara and Renate, have an intervention to help her separate although they don't really know how to do an intervention. And it is hard for Sara, who is getting married, to divert her attention from the wedding details.
In addition to her friends, Anna also has a wonderful grandmother (or Baba) and quirky mother and father. In their own way her family helps Anna come to terms with her need to end the relationship with Adam. Even her sister, Nat, who is living in Iran as a second wife in a Muslim marriage helps Anna.
I really loved the Baba. Almost blind and eighty-three years old, Baba decides to raise chickens again on her farm. Anna helps her get the chicks from a Hutterite colony and then, on the day of the wedding rehearsal, helps Baba butcher them. The idea of Anna showing up at the rehearsal covered in chicken blood, feathers and other chicken bodily substances had me in stitches. Sara, of course, was not amused.
Nia Vardalos is quoted on the front cover as saying "The Prairie Bridesmaid is a witty, sardonic, and touching story of self-discovery leading to liberation." I concur.
I'll see if mrsgaskell still wants to read this since I have had it for so long.
September 26/2010 - I read this book while in transit from Winnipeg to Boston and released it on September 16, 2010 in Harvard - on a bench just outside Harvard Yard. I thought it might provide some welcome light reading for a student. Since I didn't have access to the internet I wasn't able to make release notes and the book has already been caught so I'm just editing this journal entry to provide the release info and my review.
I really liked this book! It made me laugh out loud more than once, on the plane and in the airport terminal - didn't dare look up to see what strange looks I might be getting. Anna Lasko is a thirty-year-old burnt-out (if she was ever "lit") high school teacher who has been in a relationship with Adam for 10 years. While he's away in Germany for several months her friends take the opportunity to stage an intervention. Sara (Bride-zilla!), Renate (married, mother of one, pregnant with second child), and Julia (single mother by choice, about to meet her birth mother) are caught up in their own lives and don't seem to have a clue about helping Anna get out of an unhealthy relationship - their research done in women's magazines and the internet. This is definitely chick-lit but it was funny and I enjoyed the local Winnipeg setting with its familiar places such as Osborne village. I loved Anna's feisty Baba who just keeps going in spite of failing eyesight, raising and slaughtering chickens, making perogies and pysanky. In Winnipeg, even if you're not of Ukrainian descent, you certainly know someone who is. I also got a kick out of Anna's parents as well as her resident squirrel Buddy. Although Anna has a hard time getting out of a relationship that has become a habit, there is hope for her when she sets off to Iran to fetch her younger sister Natalie who has relationship issues of her own. Thanks Pooker3 and Gypsysmom for sharing this entertaining read!