Book of a Thousand Days

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Today's book was suggested by Coke - so thanks for the suggestion Coke.

Today's book; "When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years for Saren’s refusal to marry a man she despises, the two prepare for a very long and dark imprisonment. As food runs low and the days go from broiling hot to freezing cold, it is all Dashti can do to keep them fed and comfortable. But the arrival outside the tower of Saren’s two suitors—one welcome, and the other decidedly less so—brings both hope and great danger, and Dashti must make the desperate choices of a girl whose life is worth more than she knows. With Shannon Hale’s lyrical language, this forgotten but classic fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm is reimagined and reset on the central Asian steppes; it is a completely unique retelling filled with adventure and romance, drama and disguise."

I'm not terribly familiar with any of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales other than Rumplestiltskin - since I'm pretty sure that the Disney versions of those stories don't count and are nothing like the originals - so today's book was kind of unfamiliar territory to me. I was too busy back then reading Berenstain Bears and my Sesame Street book of the month club books - nothing too deep, nothing too gritty - just light, fluffy, pleasant reading. So I guess it's long past time that I tackle some of the classics.

At the beginning of the book the readers are told that Dashti and Lady Saren were given 7 years worth of food in the tower. Perhaps my childhood of being raised in a house filled with Tupperware and having a mother who throws away half a loaf of bread if it's not really fresh feeling, is coloring my perceptions here, but eeeeewwwww. Eating food that's been sitting around for years - that's disgusting. I guess there's no danger of me ever romanticizing the past since every time I read a story that takes place in another time period I get so distracted by the tiny details that horrify me that I almost miss out on the rest of the story.

Another detail that distracted me was the paranoia that Lady Saren began to experience after being in the tower awhile. I know I should have been focusing on the story itself, but instead all I was thinking was I bet Lady Saren is paranoid because she's got a vitamin D deficiency from being stuck in the tower away from the sunlight, and I think I can safely assume they weren't eating vitamin fortified cereal up in that tower. So that's your fun (well actually not so fun) fact for the day, a Vitamin D deficiency can cause a person to become paranoid. I've really got to stop reading books about nutrition, it's interfering with my ability to read novels.