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Old 04-21-2010, 04:49 PM   #31
dreams
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I loved that description about the rain! Plus, the one below.

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A cold damp May with so much rain that mildew formed on our clothes in the closets and the bedclothes were so clammy it was like pulling seaweed over us.
Which led me to smile when she wrote the below.

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In case you are wondering why I didn’t take a good book, settle down by the stove and shut-up, I would like to explain that Stove, as we called him, had none of the warm, friendly qualities ordinarily associated with the name. In the first place he was too old and, like some terrible old man, he had a big strong frame, a lusty appetite and no spirit of cooperation.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:42 PM   #32
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I haven't read the postings yet, and I tried reading more of the book today and I'm really just not getting into it....I think my brain is just stuck in non-fiction mode.....
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:59 PM   #33
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I haven't read the postings yet, and I tried reading more of the book today and I'm really just not getting into it....I think my brain is just stuck in non-fiction mode.....
This is a nonfiction book. It's about her life when first married and on their chicken farm.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:39 AM   #34
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I haven't read the postings yet, and I tried reading more of the book today and I'm really just not getting into it....I think my brain is just stuck in non-fiction mode.....
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This is a nonfiction book. It's about her life when first married and on their chicken farm.
You are both right, dear friend.

It is fiction in the sense of "narrative". It is nonfiction in the sense that it has not been invented, being about her life.

Dreams has given us fascinating details about that sort of life, with precious pictures and descriptions, and her personal testimony, through her grandmother. The egg and I plus dreams contributions becomes, not only in the eyes of dreams, almost an essay.

Personally I think that the book in itself is fiction. But I enjoyed dreams lore very much. I could also offer similar testimonies of rural lifestyles of those times, in an other geographical setting.
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:36 AM   #35
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It is fiction in the sense of "narrative". It is nonfiction in the sense that it has not been invented, being about her life.
Thank you, beppe. It did read more like stories from my grandmother, which is probably why it was so enjoyable and easy for me to continue reading it.

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I could also offer similar testimonies of rural lifestyles of those times, in an other geographical setting.
I'd love to hear some. Ea's comment about her father with the plow horses was interesting also.

I think we tend to forget how lucky we are to live in a time with so many things to make everyday life easier to survive.
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:49 AM   #36
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I personally think that the baby was fiction...
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:28 AM   #37
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Thank you, beppe. It did read more like stories from my grandmother, which is probably why it was so enjoyable and easy for me to continue reading it.

The book is very evocative, for the whom of us who have something to be evocated. Gold dusts and little nuggets, some time painful, most of the time sweet and healing for the heart.

I'd love to hear some.
Why not. Not now though, too busy to stop for more then few moments, although you certainly deserve it. Than I do not have your kraft.

Ea's comment about her father with the plow horses was interesting also.

I think we tend to forget how lucky we are to live in a time with so many things to make everyday life easier to survive.
For what concern penicillin, and easy of moving around (volcanoes permitting), there is no doubt. For other things I am not so sure that we are better set up. My aunties and uncles for instance, and parents too (total of 11). They were kids or young people during the II WW. They were really hungry. The pictures show them very very slim. They, like everybody there, were in danger. But they were able to enjoy themselves. That generation is unique in the ability of being merry, with nothing. Now most of them are either dead or quite reduced in interactivity, but when they were, let's say functioning, they were the sparks of every party or social situation. Reversely, I belong to the golden Sons of the Flower generation. We have been free to do what we wanted, and to have "fun" with whatever and whomever we fancied. I observe my contemporaries and they just look aggravated. Back to "square" one. A part from the nice guys and girls of this site.
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:19 AM   #38
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This is a nonfiction book. It's about her life when first married and on their chicken farm.
I think it's more fictionalized than non. But yes you are right.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:43 PM   #39
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"Tits herself appeared. She was a full-breasted young woman and, even though Mrs. Kettle had already explained that the name Tits was short for sister, I found it impossible to hear the name without flinching."
-- Betty MacDonald, The Egg and I.

Since when is "Tits" short for "sister"?

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Old 04-22-2010, 08:07 PM   #40
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"The coast Indian is squat, bowlegged, swarthy, flat-faced, broad-nosed, dirty, diseased, ignorant and tricky."
-- Betty MacDonald, The Egg and I.

"Little red brothers or not, I didn't like Indians, and the more I saw of them the more I thought what an excellent thing it was to take that beautiful country away from them."
-- Betty MacDonald, ibid.


It's not difficult to see why the original residents of North America would find this book distasteful.

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Old 04-22-2010, 10:07 PM   #41
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Well, I have finished the book. I can't say I had a lot of laughs reading it so I wouldn't class it in the 'humour' category.

Nevertheless I enjoyed it as a timepiece, describing the daily life on a chicken farm with all the good, bad and ugly.

Yes, I noticed her obviously negative comments about natives Indians but I took it as a sign of her education and the time. Shame she didn't take some time and effort to get to know them better.

I also noticed the 'darker' things like the roaming abortion provider, the drunk Natives, the near rape experience. Again - that were those days. At least she did describe them.

I fell in love with the time & place due to the food she described - wow. But then I fell out of love even faster when realising the sacrifices she made for it: getting up at 4 am (I'm not always in bed by then), lots of chicken, hard work.

The description of the neighbours seemed rather on opposite ends of the spectrum. I have no doubt I would be more on Ma Kettle end of the scale.

I am glad I read this book. I am glad I finished it. But I sure consider it a misvote for the 'humour' category of the book club.
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:07 AM   #42
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Looking at the the Wikipedia page for Betty McDonald adds some new perspective.

- The daughters, Anne and Joan, were real; not fiction
- She wrote about her life with Bob while she was married to her second husband
- Her divorce from Bob must not have been to amicable as there was no contact between them afterwards
- She was sued by the real family portrayed as the Kettles
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:47 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by lene1949 View Post
(...)
I'm wondering if I have missed something about Betty's relationship with her baby daughter?
I got the feeling that this book was written as a way for the author to come (humorly) to terms with a dark part of her life. She did not like the experience, and she has come to resent most of what is associated with it. Her daughter, on the other hand, she still loved when she wrote the book, and I see the absence of her baby in the text as a way to preserve the child's privacy, and to keep her away from all the negative connotations in the book.

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Looking at the the Wikipedia page for Betty McDonald adds some new perspective.

- The daughters, Anne and Joan, were real; not fiction
- She wrote about her life with Bob while she was married to her second husband
- Her divorce from Bob must not have been to amicable as there was no contact between them afterward
- She was sued by the real family portrayed as the Kettles
The portrayal of Bob in the book is so negative all the time that I am not really surprised to learn it ended badly! In the last chapter there is a sentence she says that sums up for me their relationship:

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“Husband and wife teamwork is just fine except when it reaches a point where the husband is more conscious of the weight his wife’s shoulder carries than of the shoulder itself.”

I rather enjoyed the book, it was a light, easy read, and it gave me a couple giggles. I read this thread before the book, and I expected some much darker events, but I found it ok. One of the only thing that really bothered me was the Indian bashing - cultural phenomenon or not, it made me cringe.

The other thing that really annoyed me was the structure - or lack thereof - of the book. I'm all for unchronological narration, but the theme and sub-theme classification was so disorganized! I got the impression that Mrs MacDonald wrote a lot of individual events and stories on specific themes, then shuffled them to make them fit with the season theme.

(that was my first participation in the Book Club, ladies and gentlemen!)

Last edited by Verencat; 04-25-2010 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:38 PM   #44
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I got the feeling that this book was written as a way for the author to come (humorly) to terms with a dark part of her life. She did not like the experience, and she has come to resent most of what is associated with it. Her daughter, on the other hand, she still loved when she wrote the book, and I see the absence of her baby in the text as a way to preserve the child's privacy, and to keep her away from all the negative connotations in the book.
Very interesting observation. But thinking back on the book I would be inclined to agree. - oh, why are others so much smarter than me



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I rather enjoyed the book, it was a light, easy read, and it gave me a couple giggles. I read this thread before the book, and I expected some much darker events, but I found it ok. One of the only thing that really bothered me was the Indian bashing - cultural phenomenon or not, it made me cringe.
Yep, that was what I found really disturbing too. The other 'dark' parts where just as life was in those days. Unfortunately so was the 'Indian bashing' (or any other minority for that matter). Doesn't make it better nor prettier. I have never understood minority bashing and probably never will. But than again I have been accused as being racist just because I never seem to notice the colour of someones skin (I see the person, not the race - if that makes sense )


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(that was my first participation in the Book Club, ladies and gentlemen!)
Well, good job - hope you stick around
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:33 PM   #45
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Very interesting observation. But thinking back on the book I would be inclined to agree. - oh, why are others so much smarter than me
Sheesh, don't believe that, and don't let people make you believe that! Since I read Lene's comments before I read the book, I just dived in looking for an answer. No intelligence, I just had the clue.

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Yep, that was what I found really disturbing too. The other 'dark' parts where just as life was in those days. Unfortunately so was the 'Indian bashing' (or any other minority for that matter). Doesn't make it better nor prettier. I have never understood minority bashing and probably never will. But than again I have been accused as being racist just because I never seem to notice the colour of someones skin (I see the person, not the race - if that makes sense )
Yes, yes it does! I'm the same!

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Well, good job - hope you stick around
Thanks, I will! It's fun to be sharing a common reading experience with people.
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