Sunday, February 12, 2012

Book Review: Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund

Rather than reviewing this book, I feel the need to respond to it.

This story spoke to me as being a story about woman.  The setting of the 19th century gave a backdrop that provides clear roles and expectations of women.  The characters came from all walks of 19th century life.  Agatha, Aunt Charity, Bertha, Charolette, Frannie, Mary, Maria, Margaret, Mrs. Macy/Maynard, Rebekkah, Sallie, Susan.  The pages are populated with women and their stories.  The common thread among all these women was their purposefulness.  No matter the course these women chose, they did so with intent.  Too often, the lives of women are presented as a side line.  The result of a choice or action of a man.  A consequence.  Clearly, while these women were affected by the men in their lives they were not determined by them.

I can't say that I liked all the women or that their choices would have been mine.  I can't say that I agree with their philosophies, perspectives, or conclusions.  I can't say that, if I'd lived in the same place, at the same time, I would have befriended all of them.  I hope I would.  I hope I would have been able to open myself up to the possibility of someone different adding value to my life. 

I also hope that, in my day to day life, I am able to show the strength of purpose and intent that these characters show.  I also hope that, in my day to day life, I am able to remember that being similar does not mean we are the same and that differences bring life.

No comments:

Post a Comment