Friday, September 2, 2016

May column

Yeah, its May! Think Farmers Market and fresh produce! Starts Sat. May 7th in Neosho, across from the library, 9 Am to Noon. Bigger and better this year. I plan to be there every other week this summer with my WeaverBirds Rugs.
I want to give a shout out to a new little book store in Neosho. It is called Agape Books and Gifts. It is on the west side of the blvd just down from Arvest bank. They specialize in Home Schooling books but also have good reading for anyone. They just opened and plan to have gift items for sale too. They just may have a few of my weaving items in there soon. So be sure to check them out.
I would also like to thank the Granby police dept for their kind help in locating my daughter after she had been in an auto accident and no one knew where she was. A great job and greatly appreciated.
I only have time to review one book this month, although I have read a couple more of J.D Robbs mystery books. Maybe my next month I will have a really good read to report on.
A Map of the World
Jane Hamilton
Wow, I started this book with no real idea what it was about. The cover only gave glowing reviews about it and about Hamilton's writing style. New York Times said: "A nimble job of showing us how precarious the illusion of safety and security really is." I found that the book did exactly that.
When I report on a book I have a very hard time trying to decide how much of the story to tell without spoiling it for someone who might want to read it. I decided on this one I had to tell the story and of course there is so much more to it than I could give away here.
It starts out in the voice of Alice. A young mother of two daughters. She is rather a dreamer and her husband now has life time dream of his own dairy herd and 400 acres to farm. They invested all they had to buy a run down old farm with a beautiful dairy barn. Alice is a school nurse and in summer time she shares days of caring for her best friends two little girls. On one morning of rushing around to collect herself and girls, the friend drops her girls off and Alice is distracted for a few minutes before realizing that the friends two year old daughter is missing. She finds her in the pond and in the end the child dies. Alice is in such dispare over the incident that when the police come to their farm to arrest her she assumes its for this event. She has been in a deep depression for weeks. It turns out the charges are for child molestation from a 6 year old boy from school. The judge sets the bail so high that husband can't make it. She spends 3 months in the county jail, awaiting trial.
The second part of the book is in the voice of the husband, Howard. He is a little bit of a dreamer too and was a loner til he met Alice. I would call him a deep thinker. When his wife is arrested he finds himself with two little girls to manage, plus managing the farm and milking twice a day. The summer is in a drought so his crops are struggling too. He is desperate to get his wife home, partly because he can't believe she molested a child and he needs her at home too. The girls are lost, angry, and confused. He finds he has to drive 20 miles away to buy groceries. People stare and community has been whipped into frenzy and more children come foreward. Three months later Howard finally has to sell the farm and his beloved dairy herd. He has loved the old farm house because of its history even though it is falling down. He moves the girls into a town farther away, an apartment with no yard. With the money from the sale of all he has, he gets his wife bailed out. It takes a couple more months for the trial.
This is where the voice changes to Alice and she is telling what it is like to live in the jail, where she is beaten. She has about given up and has accepted that she may likely spend her life in prison. She talks about this little boy and how she really hated to see him come into her nurse office. He was obviously so neglected and acted so strange, cursing and refusing to co-operate. By trial time the other children have dropped charges and her attorney has proof that even though the specialists say he has been sexually abused, the abuse was not at the hands of Alice.
So spoiler alert, Alice is found innocent. But her life and that of her family has been forever changed. Howard will no longer farm. His dream is dead. Alice is a changed person. She has lost her best friend. But she has the compassion to see that no one won, even the little boy who accused her of molesting him. So the take away is that life happens and things can take wrong turns even though you may not "deserve" the outcome. So the New York Times is right about "how precarious the illusion of safety and security really is".

No comments:

Post a Comment