Wow--there's a reason this book is a classic! It has brought so many people peace and sanity and real joy in their lives. If you have any inkling that something is taking over your life--alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, anger, porn, dependence on another person--read it, then find a 12-step group of people who use this book!
What a great book for capturing local color! And when you read of Roberts' personal family history in Maine it has even more richness. The story bogs down a bit in places (not just when they're traversing bogs!), and there's too much discounting of the motives of the Sons of Liberty and some figures I know something of in history in comparison to too much elevation of the noble red man, but it's still a good read.
Roberts doesn't really understand Jonathan Edwards, for example, caricaturing his writings and theology in ways I find distasteful. And he makes the origins of the American Revolution seem so petty and mob-oriented that we almost cannot recognize the heroes he reveals as the dust (or snow!) settles at the end. I don't know the history of the Indians of the area, but he makes them too uniformly noble and at the same time really slams the Plymouth Colony. But the P.C. was relatively small and had much better relations with many Indians than Roberts allows for. Perhaps he's thinking of the Massachusetts Bay Colony of a few years later? And even so, I don't think things were as one-sided (the white men dolts and oppressors) as he suggests.
So if this isn't your only source for understanding American history of the era, enjoy! And if you're tempted to take Roberts' word for some of these issues, try reading William Bradford's account in *Of Plymouth Plantation* or some of historian Perry Miller's accounts of these colonists (and Miller does not share their faith/culture, so he does not have an axe to grind on that subject). Read some of Jonathan Edwards' own missionary efforts among the Indians or his presentation of protege David Brainerd's work with them.
I was intrigued by this book when I heard about the feud between the author's family and Ann Patchett, who has written a kind of memoir about Grealy. The afterword by Patchett disturbs me a bit because of its suggesting that this is a partially fictional work, done that way presumably because life doesn't fit art quite as well as we'd like. Because Grealy is not a particularly winsome narrator (why so very little relationship with her siblings--is it to protect their privacy or because she just doesn't connect with them, including her twin?), I hate to think that she's presented us with her BEST self. :-)
Nevertheless, this is a moving and painful story, and it helped me understand how someone in Grealy's (or Grealy's character's) circumstances tries to find her place in the world.
Beautifully written, full of imagination and depth in its depiction of the craziness of Communist China, but with a cynical, dark ending that steals away the satisfying meaning of the earlier part of the book.
I have moved beyond what OA has to offer (see settingcaptivesfree.com), but what OA has to offer was an important step in my healing, and I am thankful for the organization. This story of the founder shows well the frailties any human organization is prone to, and the enduring legacy of our brokenness who struggle with besetting sins.
This classic program was recommended to me and though I have some qualms about just what the most recent research would say about some of what's in here, I'm looking forward to getting started on the plan or a variation of it for the summer.
Side note--it's interesting to see how things used to be done before full-bore internet marketing! ;-)
I first learned of (Episcopal)Father Capon in a reference to his old book *Bed and Board,* in another book I was reading at the time. He had a wonderful celebratory approach to marriage and parenthood and cooking. But his books are fairly hard to come by and I couldn't find that one easily (out of print). I managed to get *Bed and Board* through PBS a year or so ago.
I did find another, *The Supper of the Lamb,* a distinctly "sacramental" approach to cooking from a Christian point of view, but even apart from that another celebratory book. This man loves food, and life!
Finally I got *Capon on Cooking* recently from a PBS member, and I am enjoying it as well. An older Capon seems to be enjoying his empty-nest life with his wife and friends they invite over to share his cooking, and the book deals first with kitchen equipment--a dead-on take on the uselessness of some things and great importance of others. My family loved his easy recipe for a fruit tart: open a stick of butter and use the box to measure 5/6 full of flour and the rest of the space with sugar, adding a tablespoon of baking powder (measured in the cupped fingers of one hand) and an egg and mixing it all up by hand, pressing it into a pan, adding sugared fruit on top, and baking for a while in a moderate oven.
Later in the book he covers whole feasts of one sort or another--German Christmas, Swedish Easter, Japanese barbecue, and an assortment of Thai recipes he discovered in a neighborhood restaurant shortly before Thai became "the thing" in America. He even has a group of recipes designed to handle a glut of the gardener's eggplant overabundance. Capon loves cream and odd organ meats more than I do, but his adventurousness inspires me, and my family has eaten well this week! :-)
This is a satisfying sequel to *The Sparrow,* with disabilities, politics, anthropology, revolution, art and music, technology, war, parenthood, faith, and even the Mafia thrown in -- oh, and a lot of it on another planet. A couple of characters do unlooked-for things, but so do real people. Well done.
The Searses take attachment parenting further than I would, but this is the best overall child care book I used with my own children--commonsense, pro-nursing, consistent with Christian convictions--in that way more "me" than LLL, e.g.
I do not want to dismiss all natural-health-oriented approaches to the ills of life, and Ross includes some ideas worth exploring, but it is wearying to find yet another prescription for a cabinet full of health food store supplements (or special concentrated preparations of real foods) that have such vague claims but are nevertheless supposed to be so much better than pharmaceuticals. I find integrated medicine and an Andrew Weil-type approach more holistic and believable.