House of Daughters

Friday, August 14, 2009


I spent the day reading (obviously), whining about my cold that will probably be with me until the end of time, and attempting to answer my sister's question, "Do you ever think along the lines of It's a Wonderful Life with the blog and try to imagine what your blog would have been like without me helping you?" Does she know how to fish for a compliment or what? Actually, coming from her that was kind of subtle. Generally her attempts to fish for compliments sound more like, "Tell me what your favorite thing is about me?" or "What do you think my best feature is." And like a good sister, I humor her. I actually sit there and list things that I like about her. And just so I can head off the next "What do you like about me" request (which isn't really a request, but more like a demand): 1. you have great hair 2. I like the way you can spout Presidential facts at the drop of a hat 3. you're the only person I know who actually watches Dallas with me, and don't think I'm not aware of how painful it is to have to sit through the kind of TV that I enjoy. . . And the rest of the list I'm going to have to recite over the phone the next time we talk, because I don't want to bore my readers to death with my list.

Today's book, "Lynch invites readers to travel to Champagne, France, in this charming novel. The patriarch of the House of Peine has left the once-renowned champagne house in shambles. His daughter Clementine, who lovingly nurtured the grapevines her whole life, learns she must share the vineyard with her estranged half sisters—Mathilde, her sworn enemy, and Sophie, a total stranger. The partnership is tumultuous, especially since the rift between Clementine and Mathilde has a man at the root. But when a disaster threatens their legacy, the sisters learn to put their differences aside."

Today's book is, appropriately enough, about sisters - but in this case, it was about sisters who didn't grow up together and don't like one another. This led to a discussion with my sister about whether or not we would have liked each other if we hadn't grown up together. We eventually decided that we would still like each other since disliking one another would mean that we would also have to dislike 60% of ourselves because we are a Venn diagram:

We both agree that we are in fact a Venn diagram, but the exact percentage seems to be in dispute. I say it's 60% and Alissa insists that it's 50%. We debated back and forth before I finally said, "I'm willing to come down to 59%, to which Alissa responded, "That ridiculous," and then she proceeded to list all of the ways we're different, most of which seemed to reflect badly on me. Negotiations broke down at that point. So, we're either 50% the same or 60%. I guess it doesn't really matter, the point is we're too alike to be able to dislike each other without also disliking ourselves, and since we're both rather fond of ourselves, I guess we'll just have to stick to liking each other no matter what.

I liked the idea of today's book more than the actual book. I like the cover, the plot was interesting enough to keep me reading, and the writing style was pretty good. But I disliked every person in the book, intensely. There were even a few characters (Mathilde, for one) who I disliked to the point where I spent the whole book thinking She could fall off a cliff and I wouldn't care. So if you're the kind of person who actually wants to like the characters you're reading about (how demanding of you) then you won't like this book. I want to like the characters that I read about - life is full of enough annoying people, why on earth would I voluntarily sign up to deal with even more.

And now I have to go and finish working on my list of Things-I-like-about-Alissa so I can have it all ready the next time I talk to her on the phone.