Monday, 31 March 2014

On the bookshelf in February

Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver
Discontented with her life of poverty on a failing farm in the Appalachians, Dellarobia, a young mother, impulsively seeks out an affair. Instead, she discovers something much more profoundly life-changing - a beautiful and terrible marvel of nature. As the world around her is suddenly transformed by a seeming miracle, can the old certainties that her community have lived by for centuries remain unchallenged?

Flight Behaviour is a captivating, topical and deeply human story touching on class, poverty and climate change. It explores the truths we live by, and the complexities that lie behind them.

My Verdict: I don't know if you are like me but what draws me to a book, any book, in the first instance, is its cover - the colour and font and because I have a real infinity with butterflies and particularly monarch butterflies, this book wasn't going to get away from my grasp so easily and boy am I glad that I purchased this! Having never read any of Barbara Kingslovers' novels before and being ashamed to say that I hadn't actually heard of her before reading Flight Behaviour, I have to say I cannot wait to get my hands on her other books. Not only is this a fantastic read just in the story of Dellarobia and what has bought her to this point in her life; but also in the science aspect of this book. There were so many things I found out about butterflies that I had no understanding of and what is great is not only is Barbara a fantastic novelist, she is also a scientist so she really knows her stuff. I was genuinely sad when I finished this book, it was like saying goodbye to people I had just started to know, and who I wanted to get to know more about, and to me that is the sign of a fantastic read. If you only read one book this year, make it this one!

Have you read this book or any of Barbara Kingslovers' other titles? If so what did you think?

Due to limited time and the recent events in my personal life, there is no 'bookshelf' for March, but hope to see you back for my April read!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Saying goodbye

Goodbye butterflies <|3 
One of the things I promised in my New Years resolutions was to update this blog more. That had been my plan (and is still my plan) but three weeks ago, the rug was pulled out from under my feet and everything I knew came crashing down around my ears.

On 1st March my beloved Auntie had a massive stroke, 36 hours later she was gone. 
I wish you had know this wonderful lady, she was funny and smart, spiritual and gentle, wise and kind. She was my second Mum. For those of you who read this post you will know I have now lost my Mum and the closest thing to her in a little over two years. So I hope you will bear with me and understand my need for silence.
In my previous working life, I worked in physiotherapy, predominately within stroke rehabilitation and I saw first hand the devastating effects strokes can reek on patients and their loved ones, but still when it happens to you and to someone you love the shock is immense and you flounder.

My aunt, in our last conversation only a week before her stroke, ended our chat with the exciting chatter that she was now off to check on airfares (she lived in the states) and she was planning a trip here in 2015. We were excited, the family was so excited; we had SO much planned for that trip. But instead of letting family members know that she had booked her ticket, I had to for the second time in two years, ring my siblings, her sisters, my cousins and break their hearts all over again, just as I had done when my Mum was dying.

Three weeks after her passing, I still cannot believe she is no longer here, that I won't hit that button on facetime and hear her say "Hey sweetie". I can't believe I will never feel her wrap her arms around me and say everything she needs to say in that hug. I can't believe she won't be there to give me the generational advice we all need, no matter how old we get. I can't believe there will be no trip next year, no laughter around my kitchen table as we sit drinking wine together. I can't believe she is gone.

Right now I am being the lynchpin for my family who are spread far and wide, and at the same time I am trying to be the floor beneath my cousins feet (they have lost both parents in less than three years). I know I cannot take away all the pain but I can be there to hold them up when they feel that they are going to fall down, so I hope you will bear with me during this time.
As Mothering Sunday draws close, please hug those women in your life who mean the world to you because in a blink of an eye they can be gone.