The Magic Room

I recently read The Magic Room as part of the BlogHer Book club. I cringed when I saw the subtitle “A Story about the Love We Wish for Our Daughters.” just because I want a bigger love for my children than the stories told in this book. I want them to find love with someone else special which may or may not lead to marriage. That’s a given. My life would be incredibly lacking in many ways without the enriching and consuming love in my life.

More than that, I want them to fall in love and love themselves-take care of themselves, honor their being, and be happy with who they are and who they are becoming each day.

Then there is the book. We have been on one wedding dress shopping trip so far. It may be our only one. I’ve no idea whether the other children will get married. The whirlwind shopping experience involved one store and several dresses, but one had already been identified as “the dress” in our minds before she even tried it on. Indeed, it was the dress. No magic room. Not an amazing small business passed down through the family, just a chain store and a mass produced dress–but it was the right dress for her.

Back to the book, first, I found the male father voice a bit vexing as the narrator. He made a lot of pronouncements as if they were true for all fathers and of all mothers. They weren’t. In fact, at points those things irritated me so much I wanted to toss the book aside.

Then there were points where indeed I wanted to go and have a magical mother/daughter bonding trip to buy a dress to send my daughter into her future. There is a story there in my life of mothers and daughters and raising my daughters that might benefit from the ritual at least in my mind.

I sorted that out, as I have done before, by reminding myself and one of my daughters that we can go buy a special dress and have a special party without it having to be a wedding. When the time is right and she feels ready–we don’t need a groom to have a ritual saying “this is my child, of whom I am most proud and blessed to have in my family. She’s now mature, ready to make adult choices and live an adult life. While bittersweet, this is a joyous time and celebration. Please surround her now with your joy, love, and blessings as she follows her life path.”

Ritual and tradition is important in marking our life journeys. I truly believe in it.

I believe there’s a story in everyone and it often comes to expression in these moments where a dress is bought, a love shone brightly, at least a love story of some sort. In the book, stories are told, of great mother/daughter relationships, of horrible ones, of tragic ones, of relationships with lovers, children, fathers, grandmothers and more. Those stories could have been more magic than the magic room itself. Unfortunately, the narrator left me wishing for more of the stories and less of his opinion, of the lens he put on the stories, which indeed was the only thing he could do, because love stories always are seen through your own lens.

It did make me want to take a road trip to The Magic Room though. I will be looking for such a business if the time comes to buy a special dress.

I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.

Stella Duffy’s Theodora Makes You Think #BHBC

Do you enjoy historical fiction? What about historical fiction that is about a real woman? A powerful woman? Then you would enjoy BlogHer Book Club‘s current pick: Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore.

The language is bawdy in places. Ok, definitely not PG-13. Of course, the book isn’t a PG-13 read. You probably sorted that out from the title. What you probably didn’t know about: Theodora. Why not? Oh, because the women behind the men tend to fade. (Unless you are Anne Boleyn, in which cases so many books will be written, they all crowd together into a strange picture of a woman) You just don’t run into many books about the wives of the Roman Empire. This was one and filled in a blank spot in the history you know and don’t know.

It also gives you quite a bit to think about as you watch how she finagles her way to the top and her reasons behind it. Would you do it? Did she make the right choices? What would you do? These are all questions that go through your head as you watch this disciplined woman rebel over and over again.

I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.

#BHBC Takes a Tug at Love at First Bark

I recently read Love at First Bark as part of the BlogHer Book Club. I am a sucker for dogs. I have nagged for a dog for years. Yes, we have three prairie dogs. We have my mother’s dog. (ick a fake pet store dog who is small, yappy, annoying, and doesn’t even wag his tail) But, I don’t have a dog. (currently)

I grew up with a rescue dog–Ginger, who died three days before I got married. (possibly the best dog ever) We had Maggie, a St. Bernard (or maybe the best dog ever; except the fur, and her habit of pulling me down ice slickened hills.) I found in a shelter in Wisconsin. She was such a mess I thought she was much older. We had a roaming soul of a dog named Mikey at one point.We had Jake and Chanel–rescues of a sort.

Throw me at petfinder and I will find a dog I want to give a home. Keep me out of animal shelters–I am hopeless at hardening my heart to dogs. Even cats and rabbits at shelters have found their way into our lives. The pet store where the prairie dogs found us now has shelter dogs instead of well–pet store dogs. I am not certain we would have walked out the door with a prairie dog if they had done that when we were “looking for a rat.”

So, here I am a sucker for dogs and I am reading a dog book. I expected to want to head to the nearest shelter and beg for a dog. (not a puppy-I really dislike puppies) It didn’t stir that in me. I can’t figure that out, but it was just as well. Last week, one of those passed around posts on Facebook had me horrified and wanting to rescue dogs.

It did give an interesting insight into Klam’s family life and structure. It made me very glad that I don’t live in an apartment in NYC with a dog.

Check out and join the discussion over at BlogHer about Love at First Bark (and the dogs who we love(d))

I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.

How to Be an American Housewife

I fell right into How to Be an American Housewife, a book I read as part of the BlogHer book club. A Japanese war bride, a secret story, and of course, the mother daughter dynamic and sibling dynamics.

Throw in a retro housekeeping/parenting and cook book and you have me hooked. Yes, there was a now “retro” cookbook as a key part of the plot.

You want to read this book and I can’t really explain all the reasons why! It falls into the tattling on my friends problem with books I really love.

Read more reviews and join the discussion at the BlogHer Book Club.

I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.