Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Turn the Page...Tuesday - August

Time for some Turn the Page...Tuesday goodness hosted by Adrienne at Some of a Kind.  Yeah!
I read several good books in July, but chose On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon by Kaye Gibbons as my favorite and the one that I would post about.

From the  cover:
Like America in the mid-nineteenth century, Emma Garnet Tate Lowell is at war with herself.  Born to privilege on a James River plantation, she grows up more and more aware that her family's prosperity is inextricably linked to the institution of slavery.  Bookish and sensitive, young Emma Garnet sets herself against her bumptious, self-made father, Samuel P. Tate, at an early age.  In the company of her mother and adored brother Whately, Emma Garnet manages to survive with her heart and mind intact.
As she tells her story in 1900, she is still prey to her childhood, to the memories of a life that was made bearable in the main by the indomitable family servant Clarice.  Emma Garnet secedes from the control of her domineering father to marry Quincy Lowell, a member of the distinguished Boston family.  Living in Raleigh on the eve of the Civil War, she and Quincy, with Clarice's constant help, create the ideal happy home.
When war destroys the rhythm of their days, Emma Garnet works alongside Quincy, an accomplished surgeon.  Assisting him in the treatment of wounded soldiers, she comes to see war as "a conflict perpetrated by rich men and fought by poor boys against hungry women and babies".  After Appomattox, Emma Garnet sets out to take her exhausted husband home to Boston, where she begins the long journey of her own reconstruction.

Not only does this book deal with the hardness of slavery, but also on the abuse a family experiences at the hands of their father and husband.  The author knows first hand what it is to live with a mental illness and that knowledge makes for some fantastic writing. 

I'm now reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and loving it.  
What are you reading?  Pop over to Adrienne's site and join us for Turn the Page...Tuesday.

8 comments:

Terri said...

I will have to read that first book. It sounds interesting

I didn't like Pray, Eat, Love. Too new-agey and I thought the main character was rather selfish. That was the impression I got... Oh well.

I am reading the Mrs. Tim series. I love English novels! This series reminds me greatly of Mrs. Miniver. LOVE IT!

Debi said...

Sounds like another book that needs to go on my "to read" list.

Adrienne said...

Oh boy - I'm going to have to get that one ... seein' hows I'm a Virginia gal an all ;-)

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

My daughter's just finishing "Gone With the Wind" for about the sixth time! She may like this one. I'm a Louisa May Alcott fan -- this sounds similar to some of her war-time experiences.

Jeni said...

This sounds like my kind of book as I love historical period novels -especially of the Civil War era. (Hence, my fav book of all time -Gone With The Wind, of course!) I'll have to mention this book to my daughter too as she frequents B&N a good bit and is always on the look-out for a good read.

Stacey's Treasures said...

This sounds very good!!!!
She must have been a strong woman.

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Farm Chick Paula said...

Sounds wonderful, Paula- thanks for the heads-up!