Ambivalence, a Love Story

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

First I want to welcome all of the new followers - I'm so excited to see how many new people that are who have shown up over the last week- and thank you Loree ( for mentioning my blog on your site.

I had a hard time deciding what to read today. I kept picking up books and reading the first page only to find that it wasn't holding my interest. Finally, I decided that since I feel ambivalent about what to read today I should read the book that has ambivalence in the title.

Today's book - "Ambivalence, A Love Story is a deeply nuanced accounting of how two people come together to make a marriage work. Rarely has marriage and its compromises been so intimately portrayed, especially when tested by depression, unemployment, miscarriage, and other realities of contemporary life."

Once again, I disagree with the description on the back of the book. They always take it a step too far - I didn't see the "deeply nuanced" part, and I just don't agree that marriage has rarely been so "intimately portrayed." In fact, I felt just the opposite - I walked away from this book feeling like I don't really know the characters that well, or like them all that much. So it was kind of difficult to make it all the way through this book. If I wasn't writing this blog, I would have stopped mid-way through.

The only part of the book I enjoyed was the passage in which the author was fantasizing about raising his child in a simpler way now that he has lost his job, "We will be happy in a different way. We will be a cheerful, self-sufficient, organic family. We will grow our own produce and keep chickens for eggs. During the hard winters, we will develop of taste for cellared root vegetables: beets, rutabagas, pickled radish. I will cure meat and smoke fish. Our daughter, a February baby, will be delighted by our simplified lifestyle, the one and only she'll ever know. For Christmas, she will clap her hands and squeal with delight at unwrapping a single gift, a fresh persimmon. At her birthday, she will exclaim, 'Fresh daisies? Thank you Papa! And in the dead of winter no less." - His fantasy is exactly the kind of delusions I have in a craft store, so I can completely relate. I have the same kind of delusions in health food stores and garden supply stores as well.

If you do happen to read this book, I would skip over pages 32-34 if you're squeamish. There was way too much information about killing mice on those pages. - I'm not sure why people feel the need to include that kind of stuff in books, maybe they're trying to be gritty and real of something, but I prefer my books a little less gritty.

Mid-way through the book the author was discussing his childhood fascination with reading, and how his family considered it so off. My sister shared my love of reading, so I wasn't totally the black sheep of the family, but I do remember my brother telling people, "That's my sister. She reads books all the time . . . for fun, no one's even making her." He never could quite fathom why I would waste time that could be better spend on television and video games with a "dumb book."

And here's your piece of random information for the day: A widows walk is a railed rooftop platform that was originally designed to observe ships at sea. Despite my fascination with all things house related, I actually know nothing about it, so I had to go look that random piece of information up after reading about it in today's book.

I want to apologize dear readers for today's entry not being all that interesting. The book bored me senseless and those are always the hardest books to write about in an interesting way. Tomorrow I'm going to try to find a much more interesting book. Wish me luck dear readers, because if I run across another boring book, we all pay.