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When Women Were Birds
"Brilliant, meditative, and full of surprises, wisdom, and wonder." - Ann...
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What a gift!

Created: 04/01/13

Replies: 11

Posted Apr. 01, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
carolea

Join Date: 10/06/12

Posts: 9

What a gift!

I knew nothing about this book and was completely blown away! I couldn't put it down and have gone back to various passages. IT was, for me, a gift! It is said when someone or something keeps crossing your path you are on the right path for your life. Journals keep coming into my life again and again these past few years. Another book club I am involved with recently read a book revolving around unknown journals. As a recipient of one from my grandmother, a collection of journals from my mother and a collection of letters and documents from a very close older friend I know these are the gifts beyond the measurement of monetary value. As close as I was to these women I understood so much more by reading their documents after they were gone. It is a thread that links one generation to the next. In some areas it also explains the paths they chose in life. Coincidently was recently involved in a workshop for creating an ethical will - which is in essence a written sharing of values. Words, as all readers and writers know are powerful


Posted Apr. 01, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cynthiad

Join Date: 11/25/12

Posts: 21

RE: What a gift!

The author says: p. 20 "When I opened Mother's journals and read emptiness, it translated to longing."
Did you other readers agree? I felt her Mother was somewhat rebelling from the Mormon "norm" by NOT
filling the journals. She was a quiet person and chose NOT to "tell".


Posted Apr. 02, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 134

Expert

RE: What a gift!

I really have no idea why she wouldn't write in her journals. It seems kind of strange that apparently nobody even wanted to look in her journals all those years, or they would have found out they were empty. Maybe she thought it wasn't really important for her to write anything.


Posted Apr. 02, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
pattys

Join Date: 09/17/11

Posts: 5

RE: What a gift!

I think it's sad - and funny - that the journals were empty. Maybe if it hadn't been a requirement that she keep them, she would have enjoyed writing in them. I agree with cynthiad that maybe it was her small way of rebelling. If she didn't have so many, others might have begun to suspect that she wasn't keeping them!


Posted Apr. 02, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sweeney

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 26

RE: What a gift!

I too, think it was sad that the journals were empty. But would it have been worse if, like with my mother, they would just be filled with a description of the weather and nothing at all of heart and soul of the person writing them.


Posted Apr. 02, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bestmartin's Gravatar
bestmartin

Join Date: 02/20/13

Posts: 14

RE: What a gift!

I agree it was a gift. What a beautiful book. I loved it and there were so many beautiful poetic passages. I didn't think it was sad that the journals were empty. I actually thought it was a blessing. Her mother seemed to be taking a defiant stance in not writing in them and encouraging her daughter to find her own voice and her own way.


Posted Apr. 03, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
barbarar

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 1

RE: What a gift!

I have read several of Terry's books, and I have always found something that really connected with me. So many passages that I reread and mark. She seemed to have such an enviable connection with her mother. Would she have learned much from the journals if they had been written? I do think that it was a small defiance of her mother's for the expectations of her life; the same way she found the time for herself when her children were young.


Posted Apr. 03, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
catherinem's Gravatar
catherinem

Join Date: 10/06/11

Posts: 19

RE: What a gift!

I agree with several participants who comment that the empty journals were a mystery (Why would someone leave empty journals?), as was the fact that no one had thought to look at them prior to Terry's mother's death.


Posted Apr. 03, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
LReads

Join Date: 06/23/12

Posts: 27

RE: What a gift!

I had not read anything by Ms. Wlliams before so I didn't know what to expect from the book. I was pleasantly surprised by the substance of this book. I found myself underlining, rereading, and contemplating on passages in this book almost as if it was a series of meditations. I think the empty journals were a gift, a message to be your own woman and I found the book itself to be a gift for me. I think anything that makes us stop for a moment and step outside our daily activity and contemplate life is a gift and this book certainly did that for me.


Posted Apr. 03, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
mystinamarie

Join Date: 12/19/12

Posts: 33

RE: What a gift!

I also agree that it was a gift.
This was the first book I read by Williams and definitely the first book I read with this writing style.
At first I thought it might be disjointed and take me awhile to get through, but I was hooked immediately. I started it before dinner on the couch, and before I knew it, I was curled up with a blanket and cup of tea, finishing it with my husband asking me when dinner was going to be! I read the whole thing in a little over two hours.


Posted Apr. 05, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 83

Expert

RE: What a gift!

I loved this book. When it first arrived and saw the format, I was a little apprehensive. I loved the style and the way it was written was beautiful. I read it during 2 bus commutes to work!


Posted Apr. 10, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
arielf

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 18

RE: What a gift!

I feel that her mother left her a wonderful gift. When her mom died, she was in her 20's. At that age she would probably not have understood what her mother was saying/doing when she wrote nothing in her journals, had a discussion occurred. Her mother left her the gift of being able to think and feel however she wished and not be bound by any boundaries!


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