Paperspine Blog

Harvesting the Heart, nearly broke my heart by lipstickblogger
September 24, 2008, 11:35 am
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger

I have to say my most recent read, Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult left me very angry at times while reading and appalled by many actions of the main character.   The last Picoult book I read, “Songs From a Humpback Whale” was amazing so I decided to read another book written by her so I settled on this one.   Once again, Picoult amazes me with her illustrious story telling.  She is a marvel and I find her books extremely difficult to put down.
This is the novel of Paige O’Toole Prescott and her husband Nicholas Prescott.   Abandoned by her mother when she was five, Paige is raised by her single father, a devout Catholic, in Chicago.  A gifted artist she held dreams of attending art school, however at 18 Paige suffers a devastating loss and flees her home in an effort to escape her past and herself.

Landing in a diner in Cambridge, Massachussetts Paige meets Nicholas Prescott, a handsome, larger-than-life Harvard medical student.  The two quickly fall in love to the dismay of Nicholas’ affluent parents and Paige is forced to help put her husband through medical school.   Soon after marriage Paige learns that she is pregnant and is forced to face the demons of her past.  Can she be a good mother?  Will she fail her son as her mother failed her?  Will she cause her son the same pain as her mother inflicted on her?  These are all questions that Paige struggles with as she enters the first few months of motherhood.  As she does the unthinkable Nicholas and Paige are forced to look inside themselves to see if love is enough and whether or not they can erase the mistakes of the past and look towards the future together.

As I digested the book a bit my feelings went from completely disgusted with the main character, Paige to feeling sorry for her.  I often think of myself as mama bear and would die to protect my boys.  I find all the clichés they say about motherhood to be true.  Everything from the intense love you have for your child to the time going by so fast you don’t know how they got so big, so fast.  I remember telling my mom that now I finally understood how much she loved me, because before my son I never knew a love like this.  I can’t imagine the kind of turmoil a mother is faced with when she feels the need to leave her child.  The thought is so foreign to me that instead of anger I felt sympathy for Paige.

Picoult is amazing – stay tuned for more blogs on her books as I become a huge fan!

All the best,

lipstick Lipstick Blogger


The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls by lipstickblogger
September 3, 2008, 12:50 pm
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger

Everyone has a story, a past, experiences that for better or worse make them who they are. My husband and I recently celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We were out celebrating and were in a trendy new bar that was packed full of people when I asked him, “don’t you wonder what the story is behind some of these people?” He looked at me somewhat quizzically and said, “not really.”

My husband says I am nosey, however I would rather think of it as just curious.  I just love learning about people. Take me, on the surface I appear to be a rather boring suburban mother of two young boys. I work part-time, write this blog, married to a great guy, blah, blah, blah. I am sure that that I have put some of you to bed by now, but if I was to really tell you my story it would include some of the following. I am a first generation American. My dad was born in Hungary in the late 30’s. He was Jewish and in order to flee Hitler’s regime him and his family had to leave everything behind and board a ship to Cuba to escape persecution. Fast forward about 30 years and he was working for Boeing as an international salesman when he met my mom on a business trip to Brazil. Two weeks later they were married and for better or worse, almost 40 years later they are still married. More interesting huh? Well, at least I think so. 🙂

Since everyone has a story to tell and since I love hearing them so much, this is one of the many reasons why I loved my most recent read, “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls so much. This is a memoir of Jeannette’s tumultuous childhood. As the second oldest of four children and the daughter of Rex a brilliant man, yet a severe alcoholic and Rose-Mary an eccentric artist suffering from manic depression she endured many hardships and overcame tremendous obstacles.

Her memoir begins with Jeannette riding in taxi cab along Park Avenue in New York as an adult when she sees a bag lady sifting through trash only to realize that this homeless woman is her own mother. Startled by this, she returns home and the story of her childhood begins to be told. Although Walls could easily lay blame to her parents for her unusual and many would say very abusive and neglectful upbringing she approaches the book in a matter-of-fact manner. Remembering the poverty, hunger and bullying she endured while suffering from her parents blatant disregard for the children’s wellbeing. Included are stories of how she would sit in the bathrooms at lunchtime and scrounge through kids leftovers so she could eat and how she would color her skin so that her classmates couldn’t tell that she didn’t have holes in her clothes. With will and determination each of her siblings escapes to New York City where they start a life for themselves and escape the wraths of poverty only to find her parents wind up on her doorstep looking for a handout.

I found myself falling asleep with this book as I couldn’t put it down. Walls’ has turned a childhood of sadness and heartache into a work of art. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

lipstick Lipstick Blogger