"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Review and quotes: SO LUCKY

So Lucky by Nicola Griffith

Book Beginnings quote:

It came for me in November, that loveliest of months in Atlanta: blue skies stinging with lemon suns, and squirrels screaming at each other over the pecans because they weren't fooled; they knew winter was coming.

Friday56 quote: 

The counselor introduced herself as Wendy and asked the group to each offer one pearl of advice to me, the newcomer. What did they wish they had known when they were first diagnosed? One of the women in a power chair advised me to find a hobby I could do lying down, just in case.

Summary: Mara is at the top of her game. She's the head of an AIDS foundation, an accomplished martial artist, and is happily married. Then, in the space of one week, her wife leaves her, she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and she loses her job. Her friends all seem to vanish, overnight, too. Suddenly what was easy is hard and Mara has to figure out how to make her way in this new world all by herself.

Review: I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with a serious debilitating disease. On her blog she writes angry posts about the disease and the situation she is in. At first I was shocked by her language. I confess to be put-off by how abrasive I found her writing. Then, after reading So Lucky where the protagonist is so angry and upset, I had to re-evalute my friend's blog posts. Wouldn't I be angry, too? Shouldn't a person who is in this situation, good health to bad health almost overnight, be allowed to express their anger and frustration on their own blog? The answer is yes, but that doesn't mean I want to read it. That is the way I felt about this book. I understood why the protagonist is angry after losing so many things in one week, I just didn't want to read about her temper tantrums nor did I want to filter out her foul language rants. At one point in the story she also seemed to get herself wrapped up in paranoid conspiracies. If this book wasn't a book club selection and very short, 180 pages, I likely would have set it aside unfinished.

The author, Nicola Griffith is queer, which she says is not unusual or something to feel bad about. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis twenty-five years ago. Her symptoms came on so slowly that she didn't recognize the non-disabled people's dismissals until many years into her diagnosis. Now she wants to use her skills and knowledge to rewrite the old scripts on disabilities (NYT). I agree with her that stories have power and we need to have stories that help us all to embrace people who are living different lives than ourselves. I applaud Griffith for tackling this topic. Unfortunately, I just didn't like this particular story very much.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from current book.The Friday56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56 to share. Visit these two websites to participate. Click on links to read quotes from books other people are reading. It is a great way to make blog friends and to get suggestions for new reading material. 



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