Thoughts by Eudora Welty, Vintage Books 1990 (orig 1969), 180 pages
Challenge: Classics Club, CC50_part2, WiaN – inspired by Ann Patchett
Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction, Southern Lit, Grief
Type/Source: Tradeback/Book-A-Holic purchase
What It’s About: Laurel is the daughter of the “Optimist”. She is in her mid-forties, and her mother has been dead over 10, maybe 15 years already. Last year, her father the Optimist up and married Fay, who is maybe forty but probably only late 30s and looks even younger.
Let’s just say that Fay is a piece of work. The southern ladies would say, “Bless her heart”. Actually, I don’t think they even bother with that. All the menfolk think Fay is tender and helpless and to be pitied. The women, not so much.
UGH. (Fay really appalled me.)
Father dies, Laurel manages (by which I mean that she “processes”), Fay annoys and despairs.
Thoughts: Please please please let me know your thoughts if you have read this. I wrote on a Litsy review:
So very much to think about! Packs a punch and not only because it is about grief but about personality, society expectations (and burdens) and perception. Would be a terrific book club book.
Rating: Four slices of pie. Probably on me that I kept getting confused who was who at the funeral. Could be a fiver.
You’ve got pies three deep in the pantry, and an icebox ready to pop.
5 thoughts on “The Optimist’s Daughter”
I read this years ago (went to a southern college so immersed myself in southern lit) but I have no memory of it. Guess I should reread it at some point.
I have a sense it would hit people differently depending on life experience, as well.
I remember loving Welty’s writing when I read this in 2011 and was surprised to see that I rated it 4 stars… somehow it has become a 5-star read in my mind. Here’s a link to the blog post I wrote. (And I read it because of Ann Patchett, too!)
You are *SO* one of my book twins! 😀
What kind of pie did you eat while reading?