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Monday, September 27, 2010

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Private Life by Jane Smiley, on Kindle

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Private Life by Jane Smiley, on Kindle

This is the fifteenth entry for this meme, suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books.

I am nearing the end of The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon, by John Ferling, in Hard Back... bedtime reading.

However, my newest pursuit is Private Life by Jane Smily, on the small Kindle by wife got, to try the smaller size - she had originally gotten the larger version. She still likes the larger version, so I get to use the smaller one. I love it. I use it for day time reading, waiting at doctor's office, auto repair shops, etc.

I chose this volume of fiction because it is expansive and I don't know if I'll every finish it. It is my third Jane Smiley read, after Thousand Acres and Moo. Eccentric, to say the least. Here is the strange story it tells:

From Booklist via
In her latest novel, after Ten Days in the Hills (2007), the Pulitzer Prize–winning author offers a cold-eyed view of the compromises required by marriage while also providing an intimate portrait of life in the Midwest and West during the years 1883–1942. By the time she reaches the age of 27, Margaret Mayfield has known a lot of tragedy in her life. She has lost two brothers, one to an accident, the other to illness, as well as her father, who committed suicide. Her strong-minded mother, Lavinia, knows that her daughter’s prospects for marriage are dim and takes every opportunity to encourage Margaret’s friendship with eccentric scientist Andrew Early. When the two marry and move to a naval base in San Francisco, Margaret becomes more than Andrew’s helpmeet—she is also his cook, driver, and typist as well as the captive audience for his rants against Einstein and his own quirky theories about the universe. As Smiley covers in absorbing detail both private and world events—a lovely Missouri wedding, the chaos of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the wrenching death of a baby—she keeps at the center of the narrative Margaret’s growing realization that she has married a madman and her subsequent attempts to deal with her marriage by becoming adept at “the neutral smile, the moment of patient silence,” before giving in to bitterness. Smiley casts a gimlet eye on the institution of marriage even as she offers a fascinating glimpse of a distant era. --Joanne Wilkinson

Happy Reading!

Bill  ;-)