“Yet wherever she goes, her story marches ahead of her. Announces her. Declares and cancels her true self. Oh, she did so want to be happy, but what choice did she have, stepping to the beat of the that ragbag history of hers?
WHAT’s it ABOUT: I’ve been avoiding the review of this in equal measures with my enthusiasm. I loved this book. It’s funny! Sly humor, we should say. Short sentences, deep thoughts, a bit of whimsy even. Delightful. You might even think it is a happy story from all my gushing here but that would be a lie.
Daisy Stone Goodwill Hoad Flett is just a witness to her own life. She was born to a big fat woman who didn’t even know she was pregnant and then died! Died in childbirth. Slam bam, cruel cruel world. Daisy ended up being raised by an Aunt who was really a neighbor and well, you’ll just have to read the crazy storyline if I have interested you so far. (No? oh, OK: aunt dies, she moves with her bio-dad to Indiana from Canada, grows up & goes to school – story glosses over this part, marries but not for long (ha!), needs an adventure and ends up back in Canada married to her ‘uncle’ – yep, the original aunt’s son; has three kids, gets a job, loses job, gets depressed, gets older, moves to Florida of all places, takes a crazy trip to Scotland and and… I won’t ruin that part – it’s quite astonishing and finally is a witness to her death and a little after.
In an interview at the back of the book – DO READ THIS, I like when I like the afterwords; so refreshing, wouldn’t you agree? Carol Shields says that many women of the generation of Daisy just fail to claim their own lives and thus never get books written about them. So Ms Shields attempted it and was beautifully successful in writing something wholly entertaining and profound. There, I said it. It is my opinion.
It’s the writing and the theme and the creativity and the humor that got me. I didn’t rush through this; it wasn’t a fast-paced page-turner. I savored this.
Fraidy, friend of Daisy, was my favorite. It makes me smile just to think of her letters, her words, her attitudes. Oh yes, there are letters and scattered perspectives of Daisy’s life interspersed through the entire book.
I dreaded this review because I don’t really know what to say or how to express what I loved so much. Huh, I’m at 600 words!
Or is love something less, something slippery and odorless, a transparent gas riding through the world on the back of a breeze, or else – and this is what he more and more believes – just a word trying to remember another word.
Carol Shields has me thinking she would be really fun to hang out with. I can’t wait to read more of her stories to see if she really should be one of my new favorites. If you follow my blog at all, you know I don’t tend to follow an author’s oevure. If she passes the 3 book test (3 books is when I tend to tire of an author’s ‘style’), then a favorite she will be.
WHAT’s GOOD: Humor. I was ready for a book that made me laugh. Not that this is a funny book! It is, but I wouldn’t classify it in that section of the library. It’s funny in that life-is-absurd kind of way.
It is inevitable that each of us will be misunderstood; this, it seems, is part of twentieth-century wisdom.
WHAT maybe NOT so good? Can’t think of a thing.
FINAL THOUGHTS: [crickets]
RATING: Five slices of pie.
… the great story she let rise up and swamp her.
REVIEWS: Results of Fyrefly’s Book Blog Search for this title and then the one that first brought this book to my attention: the Bluestocking Society where she says ‘we glimpse truths about the entire human condition’. Shoutouts to Kailana and Chris of Bookarama (whatdoyouknow! Canadians) for chatting with me about this on Twitter and goodreads. *smiles*