Beware:Reading causes Sleep Deprivation
I'm tired today. No, it's not because I'm sick, or because I'm pregnant, or even because my son kept me up all night. No, it is because I stayed up way past my bedtime (and I do mean WAY past my bedtime) to read a book. It's called _Tara Road_, and I just can't believe I used my precious sleep time to read instead of, you know, sleep. The last time I did something that stupid was when the 6th Harry Potter book came out, but that time DH knew exactly what was going to happen, it was on a Friday night, and even then I couldn't keep my eyes open past 3am. (Did I mention I stayed up way past my bedtime?) Anyway, I picked up this book at my Mom's house while I was perusing her bookshelves, and it looked sort of interesting. I grabbed it to read during doctor's appointments, etc, and didn't get hooked at first. My first impression was that it was a bit choppily written, and moved at an awkward pace. Then, that dang book just sucked me right in. It's a book about women, you see, women who are trying to make their way in their small world in Dublin. Women who all want the same man, pine and ache for him, and who, unbeknownst to his wife, eventually all have him. The wife gets portrayed as dowdy, silly, living in her bubble of stay at home motherhood bliss, never suspecting for a minute that her dashing husband is off cheating on her with her best friends. I have to say, she initially comes off rather badly. I was disappointed at first. I don't know why. After all, it IS an Oprah book club book and certainly nothing Oprah could endorse could actually keep a family intact--where else could the conflict come from? But I was really rooting for the wife at the beginning, and towards the middle she morphs into a sad stereotype who is positively pathetic. I wanted to shout, "Hey, not all housewives are pathetic!" But she comes around at the end, which is what I, the reader, was hoping for, longing for, what kept me up beyond the hour any human being who is not being paid or cramming for a midterm or nursing a newborn should be awake. The book's endings are predictable enough, complete with the predictable messages that women are better off without men anyway, and the only fulfillment out there for women is to leave the home and get a job. But even with all of that, I was still pleased with how this woman became herself, and I was willing to go with her on the journey. There is not a single healthy relationship in this book, not one. And interestingly enough, the wives who are wronged are the ones who come through and win. It bothers me that there is no example of what a healthy marriage looks like, or even that such a thing is possible, (even more disturbing, if anybody wrote about such a thing, would such a book sell? Certainly Oprah, the Queen of who lives and dies in the world of literature, would kill it), but I do still like the idea of wives triumphing over trials. Wives and mothers, we are so much stronger than we know. At least the author was willing to give us that. And despite some of the other messages I got, I appreciated that one. Now if a small child would just give me a nap, I'd be all set.