Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Birthday Sunset

For my birthday, on Sunday, Jason suggested we pack up Lucia, and take a nice evening drive up into the mountains. We drove to Cedar Breaks and Brian Head, and just in time to catch the most incredible sunset at 10,000 feet (which, sadly, was so incredible and blood red because there are wildfires happening all over the area right now). I truly can't believe this place is just about a 30-minute drive from our home. Here are some iPhone photos I took on our mini-adventure.


Monday, June 27, 2016

The Old Man and the Sea & The Gravedigger's Daughter

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (Amazon)
"'But man is not made for defeat,' he said. 'A man can be destroyed but not defeated.'"
Not my first time reading this one... The Old Man and the Sea is one of my favorite books of all time. Santiago, now an old fisherman, comes up against his biggest catch yet. For days, he stays awake out at sea, by himself, patiently waiting for his catch to give up. I won't spoil the rest of the story, but this short novel has always inspired me to be both patient and persistent in life. We do not always meet with success, in the physical sense of the word, and sometimes we end up with nothing to show for our efforts, but if you remain strong in spirit, you are a success.

The Gravedigger's Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates (Amazon)
"She must re-name the child, that the break with the father would be complete."
This was my first time reading Joyce Carol Oates, but it definitely won't be my last. I struggled to put this book down. It was an emotionally-charged story of the narrator's struggles with (mostly) the men in her life, and her own identity as a result. Throughout the course of Rebecca's life, her name is changed twice - once by her father, when her family immigrates to the US, and once by herself, in an attempt to flee her abusive husband. She grows up poor, and ends up in affluence, but she is defined throughout her life by the men who have shaped her, and her persistence in running from, and subsequently hiding her true identity. It felt exhausting to travel through Rebecca's life, keeping so many secrets about her true identity and her past.

If I had to recommend one... The Gravedigger's Daughter. Even though The Old Man and the Sea is one of my all-time favorite stories, The Gravedigger's Daughter was just such a powerful story. It's interesting, however, both of these books are about resilience and character.

Have you ever read either of these? If so, what did you think?