The Painted Table: Honoring Mother--By Not Becoming Her

A few things about this book.

1) I almost gave up in chapter two. I mentioned I've been really sick. I'm looking for easy reads right now to help me relax, and hopefully, ultimately, fall asleep. Some characters are from Norway and in the start of the book, some text is phonetically written and I just couldn't figure out what they were saying, nor did I want to waste the effort to figure it out. And since I don't read the book jackets, I didn't know ultimately where the story would be going. I decided to tough it out though as it was recommended to me.  Glad I did.

2) We haven't held book club in quite a while. I've been missing it. Missing the discussions. Missing my friends. Low and behold, the friend who sort of spearheads the group emailed saying we need to start back up ASAP. I still had about 75 pages left to read at this point, but I was really enjoying the book and could imagine the great discussion we'd have about it. So I searched the library catalogs to see if I could but copies on hold. But neither SLC library system has the book in its records. (I checked out the eBook through the SLC library systems eBook system.)  So I Googled the book to see if maybe it just wasn't available in hard print yet.  And the top hits were Christian book stores. I though that odd, and just figured I'd keep my eye out at the library. Then I finished the book on the train to and from work today. And boy did those Christian references pop out.  I do think they are much more heavily woven into the last section of the book. I didn't even notice, nor mind in the earlier chapters of the book. I kind of minded towards the end. But I don't know if it is just because I realized this was Christian fiction (not that that is a bad thing) or if it really was more heavily added to the story.

3) As a person who has overcome an eating disorder, one of the things that really helped in my youth was reading stories about girls with eating disorders.  I didn't read them to scare me (in many stories, the girl lost her life to the disorder.) I read them because they spoke to me. There was so much truth in their words, so many "yes, you get what I am going through" moments for me; the stories helped me realize what I was doing, what I needed to change, and how I needed to change them.  I have always feared becoming my mother.  She was mistreated by her parents, and in return, mistreated me.  I did not want that behavior to continue with me. I did not notice the subtitle to this book until just now when I went to rate it on Goodreads, but boy do it speak to me. I am very uncomfortable around my mother still to this day, and though I've sought counseling, spoken with others, I'm realizing, maybe I need to return to my "book" treatment method.  Maybe I need to find more stories like this one, like "The Glass Castle," more books that have that power to reach me, and maybe that will help me to finally overcome this weighty issue in my life.

4) This is just a good story. It isn't too dramatic, isn't too over the top, it is an enjoyable read. And as mentioned above, I think it would make for a hearty book club discussion.


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