Friday, April 16, 2010

Certain Women

Madeline L'Engle's death in November 2008 was noted, mourned over and rejoiced about (we'll be hanging out with her on the other side at the writer's table). Her books are those that have been read and re-read here, privately & out-loud, discussed, considered and woven into our thoughts, words and writings. She has certainly been an influence in our home and we've oft commented on and been grateful for her talent.

So, it was with anticipation that I picked up Certain Women.
The story is intriguing enough- a 20th century acting family whose life parallels that of King Davids, including multiple wives, multiple children, multiple mistakes. A great concept but this book and I just never hit a stride.
The dialog dragged and just when I was getting into the story there would be more of it, pulling me back and boring me. I felt impatient through much of the book. Still, there are very interesting character sketches; my favorite being Bahama and Grandpa Bowman. One, an educated West Coast Episcopalian; the other a self educated, backwoods, fire and brimstone, deeply loved Southern Baptist preacher. Discussions of faith are woven throughout the story as well as, of course, info about King David. I don't recommend starting with this book if you aren't yet a L'Engle fan yet. Start with the the obvious, A Wrinkle in Time, as it showcases L'Engle's vast and gifted ability to word craft in ways you wont soon forget, or be impatient with.
All of that being said, KB read the book just a few days before I did and loved it. It moved her to tears, she couldn't put it down and, I believe, is one of her favorite reads of the year. You can read her thoughts on it here:

Took a minute to look up Madeline's web-site and her granddaughter's first YA novel is soon to be released. You can read more about it here: The legacy continues.


Sherry said...

I loved Certain Women, too, although I found the plot a bit soap opera-ish. I've pretty much enjoyed all of L'Engle's books, even when I could see the flaws in them.

Robin McCormack said...

Sounds like another book I read recently which digressed all over the place. I couldn't finish it. I have read wrinkle of time though. Will have to check out some of her other books.