Saturday, September 21, 2013

Oh My! 
Well ladies, I finished this book a couple of weeks ago but decided to see how the rest of you responded before tossing in my cynical veteran's view.  Sorry, reading this was like reading a 30s Shirley Temple script...silly nonsense.  I've never been a teenage girl; but I've been around quite a few and none of them were remotely similar to Rilla.  I grant you young girls (and boys for that matter) fantasize and dream of the perfect romance.  They respond openly, however, with anger, confusion and rebellion.  All normal transitional stuff.  As a veteran of combat, men rarely talk to their women (or other noncombatants) because there is no way to describe the situations and how you (the individual soldier) reacted and responded.   I have read a number of very well written personal descriptions of combat situations and not one of them contains the emotion(s) of the actual moments.  I don't profess to understand the fear and pain of the mothers, sisters and loved ones at home and in the same vein of thought, noncombatant authors should not project their emotions (no matter how true to their gender and experience) as an understanding of those of the soldier.  I've vented.

On the other hand, I liked LMM's writing style.  The Canadian politics and views towards America at the time were very interesting.  Most of my reading has been from the American perspective so this was a bit enlightening.  While Rilla's maturation and perspective change was well portrayed, I found it to be a flight of fancy. I doubt any upper middle-class teenage Canadian girls in the second decade of the twentieth century would respond even remotely like Rilla.  Having said all this, it is fiction, so enjoy the rest of your read.


Tegan said...

I'm speechless. I don't even know what to say. But I'm so happy you joined in reading the book with us Uncle Chuck.

srf said...

Interesting perspective - I admit I've never thought of this book from a veteran's point of view. That sounds pretty dumb now that I've said it out loud. I am going to say I have a lot more faith in teenage girls than you do. Rilla's character is not far-fetched to me. Thanks for reading the book!

Chuck Raney said...

You misunderstand. I have faith in teenage girls...they'll grow out of it in a few years. Their hearts are good, it's the brain that's malfunctioning due to (through no fault of their own) hormonal imbalance. If you know (truthfully) a 15 or 16 year old, male or female, that would forsake school, friends, sports, clubs, church or just hangin' out to pick up a newborn and raise it then you are most fortunate. However, I don't think you want one of your teenage daughters bringing home a newborn because you know who will have to take care of it. I like Rilla's spunk, but she is in a much different household than most. I repeat, if this is your genre, enjoy it. It's well written.