A Retired Professor

Before We Were Yours

Two weeks of physical therapy and more to come.  The doctor gave me a shot in my knee yesterday and said it would hurt “a bit”!  Yes it did but it got worse as the day wore on so I propped my leg up on the couch, poured a glass of wine for medicinal purposes and finished this wonderful, moving, sad at times book, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate.

It’s hard to believe that children could be taken from unsuspecting parents and the parents were told the children would be safe until the parents could get on their feet financially.  However, the children lived in The Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society under deplorable conditions.  Their names were changed so parents couldn’t track them down and they were adopted out for large sums of money.  All of this really happened from the 1920’s through 1950.  It’s a powerful story about family and the ties that bind them.  As the character May says, “A woman’s past need not predict her future.  She can dance to new music if she chooses.  Her own music.”  The sisters in this story did just that.  Their tale is one that will stay with me for a long time.

The Story of Arthur Truluv

Sunday afternoon.  Things are warming up in SW Florida!  68 degrees inside and out with the sun shining.  Still feels cold to us Floridians.  Perfect time to finish a book with a nice glass of Chardonnay.  Chicken simmering in a pot for chicken and dumplings later today.  If that recipe turns out good I will post tomorrow.  This may be the last day for cold weather comfort food!  Yeah.

I just finished The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg.  It’s a quick read and in some ways a slow start but so worth the read!  Arthur has been visiting his wife’s grave at lunch time daily and happened to see a young girl, Maddy, in the cemetery.  Maddy is a senior in high school and has had a difficult relationship with her father since her mother died when she was a baby.  She never seemed to fit in. The story of Maddy includes isolation and bullying in high school but she befriends Arthur.  Arthur shares cookies, made by his neighbor, Lucille, with Maddy and that brings Lucille into the story.  All three characters have pasts that seem to pull them together.  Eventually the three characters form a “family” and the past and present of their lives intertwine.  At one point Arthur tells Maddy, “But the longer I live, the more I come to see that love is not so easy for everyone.  It can get awfully complicated.  It can make us do good things but it can also make us do bad things.”   Later in the novel, Maddy writes, “…real families come from choices we make about who we want to be bound to, and the ties to such families live in our hearts.”

Loved this book.  So bittersweet.  Worth a read.

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