Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Souvenir by Therese Fowler

Is a day going to come when you can learn more from reading blogs than going to college? Therese Fowler’s blog has been around for awhile, and she spills out everything she learned while getting her MFA in writing.

And now her book, Souvenir, is debuting in the United States! I like women’s fiction that can make me cry, make me think, and leaves me with a warm-fuzzy feeling about my heart. Souvenir does all three.

Meg Powell and Carson McKay were
raised side by side on their families’
farms, bonded by a love that only
deepened as they grew. Everyone in
their small rural community in northern
Florida thought that Meg and Carson
would always be together. But at
twenty-one, Meg was presented with a
marriage proposal she could not refuse,
forever changing the course of her life.

Seventeen years later, Meg’s marriage
has become routine, and she spends her
time juggling the demands of her
medical practice, the needs of her
widowed father, and the whims of
her rebellious teenage daughter,
Savannah, who is confronting her
burgeoning sexuality in a dangerous
manner and pushing her mother away
just when she needs her most. Then,
after a long absence, Carson returns
home to prepare for his wedding to a
younger woman. As Carson struggles
to determine where his heart and future
lie, Meg makes a shocking discovery
that will upset the balance of everyone
around her.

So that’s the formal blurb, but what I love about this book is how inspiring it is. What it’s really about is a woman who is inspired by a tragic illness to stop living life for other people, but to start living life on her own terms, and the effect that has on the people who count on her.

Have you ever found yourself putting your foot down and starting to live your life, or at least part of it, on your terms?

7 bonus scribbles:

Erica Orloff 2/12/2008 06:39:00 PM  

Gosh, Spy . . . that's such a loaded question. I've struggled with Crohn's disease for as long as I have memory. There were YEARS I could barely get out of bed, barely function. But I have to say, through it all, I'd still try to tend my family, STILL take care of everyone around me, and I can't tell you how exhausting it sometimes was. So now I am moving away from that a bit. I definitely seize more "me" moments.

spyscribbler 2/12/2008 07:22:00 PM  

Erica, I wonder if you wouldn't just love this story. I don't really know much of what you read, except for mathematics, but I bet you'd love Souvenir.

That's amazing, Erica. The flip side, is that's sort of a gift, too, you know. When I was in bed, I felt like such a waste of space, of no use to anyone, not even myself. I sympathize with the elderly, who struggle with feeling useless after a lifetime of hard work.

You were useful. To a small part of you, that was probably as heartening as it was exhausting! But there's definitely a balance in there. It's impossible to be useful if were not taking care of ourselves.

Stephen Parrish 2/13/2008 04:35:00 AM  

Hi. I gave you an award on my blog.

lainey bancroft 2/13/2008 08:41:00 AM  

Sounds like a great read, Spy. I like all those elements in women's fiction, too.

Writing is one area where I've sort of put a foot down. I spent a lot of years feeling like I couldn't sneak off to the computer until I'd done EVERYTHING else. Now I actually schedule in time to write and if some laundry piles up and my sister has to get her own kid off the school bus, so be it!

Edie 2/13/2008 10:27:00 AM  

Spy, I'm going to check out that book and Therese's blog. I put my foot down when I quit my job to stay home and write, something my husband wasn't too crazy about.

spyscribbler 2/13/2008 10:41:00 AM  

Wow, thanks Stephen! I'm both honored and embarrassed, LOL. :-)

Lainey, that's awesome. Why is it so hard to do the things that are important to us? Is there some female guilt hormone injected into us, where we have to put ourselves last?

Edie, it sounds like it was the right decision. At least when you mention it, you sound like you're thrilled with it!

Therese 2/15/2008 11:59:00 AM  

Hi N: HUGE thanks for this nod! (I emailed you about it too.)

I'm fascinated by how every reader brings something different to the book, and takes something different away. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with everyone.