Friday, February 13, 2009

Book Review - The Secret Life of Bees

Sue Monk Kidd's novel The Secret Life of Bees brought me to tears the first time I read it. A beaten, broken-hearted child, Lily Owens knows there is a better life with answers out there somewhere in South Carolina. Based in the time of Negroe racism, Lily has to save the life of her "stand-in mother" Rosaleen when she spits on the shoes of three white men. Running away to a place scribbled on the back of a picture was the only way to escape for Lily. Her alcoholic father tracks her down, but Lily has finally found a home where she is loved, and refuses to leave. Both Lily and Rosaleen find there is a lot you can learn from bees.

Book Review - Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild by Jack London was an emotionally uplifting story. Being sold into brutal owner's hands, Buck struggles to keep his hope and spirit alive. As one of the biggest dogs in the pack, he quickly rises to power over the weaker animals. Buck's endurance to beat the odds provided an on-the-edge feeling as his story unfolded. When Buck realizes who he is, and what he is meant to be, a wavering relief is felt as he finally feels at home. The Call of the Wild makes dogs even more humanistic than ever before.

Book Review - Antigone

Sophocles' Antigone hit me with the realization, standing up for what is right may not have good consequences. Antigone's character was so magnetic. Her thoughts and feelings drew me into the situation, pulling my own thoughts and beliefs from me. Her uncle, Creon, did not understand her. Antigone's dogmas did not incorporate with Creon's vision of his kingdom. When Antigone refuses to ignore her brother's death and not bury him with the holy sacraments, her death is prominent. Antigone's defensive position was eventually sought out, but it was too late. Sophocle's easy-to-understand writing is straightforward; an entrancing story.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Then You Stand

My uncle is an alcoholic. There. I said it. I have been told all my life, jokingly, "You are just like your uncle!" I was proud at first. He was athletic and a frim believer in God. Truthdaully, I admired him, until he started drinking. I witnessed his harshness with my cousins and aunt. When he got on to McLain, his oldest child, for something she did not do, I jumped to her defense.

"Do not yell at her," I said, calmly.

"Mason," he answered warningly.

"You cannot get on to me," I stated, matter-of-factly.

Right then and there, I realized I am not going to be like my uncle. I am not going to turn out like him. I will never drink, I promised myselp. Not long after that promise, my mom wanted me to taste the tiniest sip of Kahlua, a 'yummy liqueur' as she put it. I knew that sip would not do any real harm, but I stayed true to myself.

"No thank you," I said.

"It's a sip, Mas," Mom answered.

"Mom, you have always said I am just like my uncle. I may be ornery. I may be hard-headed, but I can promise I am NOT going to be a selfish alcoholic."

And that was that. She never said one more word abouth that tiny sip. I knew she was proud that I realized the ugly side of being just alike, and I was standing up against it.