Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's okay, I'm done too!

I had felt like this book suggestion couldn't have come at a better time because I was feeling pretty left out myself, with almost all of my friends here & in Utah starting families & me still waiting for a clean bill of health before we're allowed to start trying. But I have to say that rather than feel better about being different, this book made me identify even more with the "in" crowd. I actually disliked Marta for most of the book because it seemed like she was only being different for the sake of being different, & hated the other moms just because they fit in.

I might be a little biased because Eva & Marta are a whole lot like me & my mom: my mom escaped to L.A. to get away from Utah & the pressure to be the same. She was a hippie & wore jeans at BYU before they were allowed. Now (& all while I was growing up) she works long hours & has made quite a name for herself as an excellent bond lawyer, but she gets upset when women make comments in Relief Society about women working outside the home even though that's a choice she made for herself. I, on the other hand, have rebelled against her rebellion, so to speak: my lifelong dream all through school was just to be popular & fit in, I went to BYU & loved it, got married while I was in college, & plan to be a stay-at-home mom. I think that these choices disappoint my mom a little, just like how Eva's quest to become the most popular girl in school disappoints Marta.

I thought it was interesting that Marta insisted that Eva fit in, but "on her own terms," not the popular girls', when in reality, those terms were Marta's, not Eva's at all. I finally started gaining more respect for Marta when she started realizing that it's tough to be a stay-at-home mom too, & that there's a lot of pressure to be perfect.

I also liked that she finally started to realize that her daughter needed a father, even though she'd sworn off men because her heart had been broken. I think that was a theme throughout the book, that Marta often thought she was doing what was best for Eva when in reality she was just serving herself. Like how she went crazy on maternity leave & wanted to get back to work, where she could "be a brain & not just a body." That was really insulting! & that she wouldn't even try to go on dates because ONE guy had broken her heart, even though Eva really wanted a father. I'm just glad that Luke was persistent enough to break down the barriers she had put up, so that all 3 of them could be in a stable family situation.

Anyway, I definitely feel like there were a lot of issues at play in this book, & I enjoyed it (except for those more "adult" parts I had to skim). It was a great read, & it prompted some conversations with my husband about how we'll treat certain situations when we have kids in school. Good pick!


Mary said...

I still haven't read the book because I still don't have access to it, but I want to comment on Catherine's post because I thought it was so interesting.

Catherine, i can't believe how much you and I have in common!. I also grew up with a working mom (mine is a college professor) who has also been consistently offended by comments about working mothers made in relief society. Also like you, my mother is shocked and disappointed at the prospect of me wanting to stay at home with kids someday. Since I'm still childless, she's still kind of in denial about that for now, but I have heard her say, and this is a direct quote "That isn't the plan I had in mind for my daughter." Puts me under all sorts of pressure.

Anyway, thanks for your comment. Being surrounded by LDS culture, it helps me feel a little less alone as my family is a little less traditional.

Emilee said...

I was a little hesitant to recommend this book because of the "adult" scenes so I apologize. I felt that I would give it a shot and I'm glad that some of you have really enjoyed it.

It definetely was a fun read and it certainly opens up a lot to discuss. I've always wanted to be a stay at home mom as well but I think that isn't going to happen for awhile. I'll need to work for the first couple of years since we have a mortgage but then I'll be able to be home with the children. It is hard since both of my sisters have children and do not have to work but I guess I have to be a little more patient that things will work out according to my desires. I do not look down on any women who works and has a family. I actually admire that kind of women because she has a lot to balance and it was interesting to see how Marta balanced both her personal and professional lives. Thanks for the comments.

Catherine said...

I just ordered mine on cant wait to start reading. I am very excited! Hopefully by the middle of next week I will be done. I was trying to have patience and wait for the library copy but I gave up and just ordered it along with books 2-4 in the Twilight Saga. hehe I have some fun reading ahead of me!

Heather said...

I've got it on hold at the was due yesterday, but the person hasn't turned it in yet!!! I'll get it soon though.....

Catherine said...

Okay I am done! I really enjoyed this book. I was "lucky" enough to have my mom stay at home when I was growing up but I could still relate to the mother daughter struggle. I think that is just part of life.

I am currently a stay at home and it wasn't always my dream. I always wanted to be a career women but yeah after four years in the work force I am glad to be home. I too admire those that balance both. I dont think I the energy or patience.