April 6, 2025
Welcome April 1! This was the view out our front door Saturday morning. Not only that, but we had no power for most of the day. What to do? Read, of course.
The sun was pouring into the snug, giving me plenty of light. I wrapped up in a blanket and read and read and read. In fact, I finished one book and most of another, and they were both excellent.
Still True by Maggie Ginsberg was a recommendation several months ago in the newsletter of one of my favorite bookstores, Arcadia Books in Spring Green, WI. https://www.readinutopia.com Ginsburg is a senior writer at Madison Magizine, but I hope she leaves enough time to write a second novel, for this one is stellar. You may recall that one of my favorite books of 2022 was Beneficence by Meredith Hall. Well, this book needs to sit on the shelf next to Beneficence. https://wordpress.com/post/livingonlifeslabyrinth.com/774
The plot is fairly complicated, as I think about explaining it, but as I read, it didn’t feel that way. I think that says a great deal about the polished, smooth and compelling writing. Secrets, lies, grace are all themes in this story about a devoted, long-time married couple, Jack and Lib, who don’t live in the same house. Also, key to the story is Charlie, a young boy who has recently moved to Anthem, WI with his parents, and he becomes Jack’s buddy. Enter Matt who is Lib’s son, whom she left when he was baby. This is news to Jack. And Matt becomes involved with Charlie’s mother. See what I mean? Just read the book and ponder the questions, What is truth? What is true? Are some lies worse than others?
Maybe this is what grace felt like. Maybe the best things were too big and good to be understood. maybe what was holy, by definition, couldn’t be truly comprehended by mortal man. Maybe that was what he’d always sensed in the two of them, and in everything they held dear: that together they were so much bigger than the sum of their respective working parts.p. 270
Women Talking by Miriam Toews is the book that inspired the award-winning recent movie by the same name. Read the book. See the movie. Both are excellent. The novel is based on a true story about a Mennonite community in Columbia, South America. The women, who have not been allowed to learn how to read, have been sexually-abused, and they struggle with a decision — to do nothing, to stay and fight, or to leave. These women may not be able to read, but they can think, and their deliberations will challenge and impress the ethicists, philosophers, and theologians of the world. They struggle with what they have been taught, with what the men have told them is in the Bible, as they clarify three things they are entitled to. “We want our children to be safe…We want to be steadfast in our faith…We want to think.” p. 153. One of the women says,
I believe that my soul, my essence, my intangible energy, is the presence of God within me, and that by bringing peace to my soul, I am honoring God.p. 109
The author, by the way, was raised Mennonite and left her family at the age of 18.
I think my April reading is off to a good start. Now, if only the snow would melt.
What books have you read recently that challenged your thinking? I would love to know.
2 thoughts on “Book Report: Blizzard Books”
My goodness, what a lovely review! I realize you wrote this months ago but I’m grateful the internet algorithm brought me to your kind words today. Hooray for Arcadia, my very favorite bookstore, and thank you so much for reading Still True. (And I’ve got that Miriam Toews book on my stack, hoping to dive in soon!)
I’m so pleased you found my review of your wonderful book. I originally read a library copy, but so enjoyed it that I bought a couple copies for friends. An Aside: We will be in Spring Green in July to attend a couple APT performances, but, of course, we will visit Arcadia, too. They are always happy to see us because we tend to do major damage on our credit cards!!!!! Hope you are working on another book.