Skip to main content

Reading in 2013: Building Better Blueprints & Losing Everything

A couple weeks ago, I stopped in the library just to pass ten minutes time before an appointment nearby...and I walked out with three books. Of course. I've already told you about Ru (read it - short, concise, lovely) and now on to the two other books.

Blueprints for Building Better Girls - a collection of short stories by Elissa Schappell, I was intrigued by the title.Very intrigued. And the framework - interconnected short stories - is one of my favourites. So I picked it up. And it was good. Realistic, gritty, sometimes awkward stories of a variety of relationships, mostly romantic, over several decades. I wanted more stories about multiple characters, which is a definite positive. Nothing wow-ed me in a profound way, but it was decent literature. Something a bit darker than your average vacation read, but not much work to get through.

Life is About Losing Everything by Lynn Crosbie. Again, the title drew me in. As did the cover design. And the back cover, which described this as part memoir and part fantastical fiction. Oh reeeeeeeeeeeally. The excerpt on the back was lovely and poignant and I wanted more. But I was underwhelmed by the first seventy-five pages. The life vignettes were certainly raw and at times fantastical, and I liked the non-linear structure. However, I didn't feel much of a draw towards the narrator, and the vignette format made it difficult to dive into a plot. Basically, there is a depressed woman, and a lot of men, and some drugs. I wanted to persevere, and I wanted things to get better for her, but the book was due back at the library, and I decided renewing it would be too much effort. I'm a big disappointed, mostly because it looks like quality Can Lit. And maybe it is.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fostering FAQ: How Can You Say Goodbye?

It seems I finally have something(s) to say... Here's the first in a short (or maybe long?) series on Fostering FAQs. If you've got a question to add, feel free to comment/email/text/message me and maybe the next post will be in response.

--

8:30 am on Day 4 of parenting. I woke up in a panic two hours ago because I remembered that there is a baby and I am responsible for her (at least at 6:30am, when the man beside me will snore through anything). Now, I have put on clothes and eaten breakfast. The dogs are walked, there is a loaf of banana bread in the oven. My tea is steeping. Most importantly, Dream Baby is already down for her first nap.

Despite my morning efficiency, I'm already beginning to see that even with the happiest, most easygoing, and smiliest baby, like we somehow managed to be given, parenting is a grind. On Friday night, I couldn't join friends for $5 pints at a local joint. Instead, I blearily washed the same 8 bottles again, and then made another ba…

Fostering FAQ: How Long Will She Stay/Will You Adopt Her?

Our first foster baby came with about 18 hours notice; it was respite care, which means we had him for a few days while his regular foster family had a break/dealt with a family emergency. He stayed 3 nights, long enough to come to church and have a dozen people cooing over his little sleeping cheeks.  With each new visitor to our quiet corner, I explained again that he would be going back to his foster family the next day.

Barely a week later, we got a 9am phone call with a fostering request and by the same afternoon, we were snuggling her. This time, we had her for 4 days before church came around. Again, our community was keen to see the little one we had in tow. Again, the question, "How long will she stay?" And this time, "Are you going to adopt her?"

--

Here in Toronto, when a child is placed in foster care, it is always for an indefinite length of time. It depends on the parents' situation, and whether they are able to make a safe home environment for th…

Fostering FAQ: What's Her (Mom's) Story?

This is probably the second most common question I hear about the baby currently in our care, right after, "Will you keep her?"

It comes in many forms:

"So, what's her story?"
"Is her mom in the picture?"
"How did she end up in your home?
"Is her mom a drug addict?"
"How could a mom not love such a cute baby!"

I get it. It's natural curiousity, and I know I've asked similar questions of my friends who are adoptive parents.


But here's what I'm learning: a child's story is their own. And equally as important, the parent's story is their own.

Imagine how it might feel to hear that for the foreseeable future, you are not allowed to care for your child. On top of whatever difficult circumstances you are already in - perhaps poverty, social isolation, lack of adequate housing, domestic violence, intergenerational trauma, drug or alcohol dependency, low cognitive functioning, or a myriad of other complex strug…