Thursday, February 2, 2012

Deb In Someone Else’s Autobiography

Barbara: I didn’t know what little tidbit I would share with you for today’s post, but then it occurred to me that in real life lately I keep talking about this book I’m reading, and then it occurred to me that the book is what I ought to deem worthy for today’s chat (*says in a haughty voice*).

The book is Too Close to the Falls and is an autobiography by a now-Canadian writer/psychologist, Catherine Gildiner, depicting her childhood years in Lewiston, NY. I’m reading it for my amazing Book Club—and I won’t lie: I wasn’t terribly excited to read another this-is-my-real-life-in-chapter-form (with all-the-chapters-taking-place-between-years-4-and-10, no less!!). But it was Book Club, so I waded gamely into the fray.

And, lo, I met this charming, irascible, feisty little kid who had any number of unusual encounters in early 50’s America. She stood up for herself and for every other decent human being in her life. And I just couldn’t shake the impression that I was meeting young Deb in full regalia.

Now I know this isn’t Deb’s story, but one of the things I’ve most loved about this blog is meeting that child of Deb’s yore—the one in the stories she shares with us sometimes. I’ve been surprised and delighted by insights into Deb’s young life—those childhood experiences that full-grown friends often don’t share with each other (we have so many other things to talk about, right?). And so I’ve been even more delighted and excited to read this adorable book.

And as I am reading, I’m also getting that certain feeling that, by odd osmosis, I’m getting to know and love our darling Deb even more. This is what they mean when they call someone “spirited”. It’s the best of all things human and humane. Thanks, Catherine Gildiner. And, of course, thanks my dear Deb.



Deb: I am going to use my Chapters Christmas gift cards and go get this book ASAP. In the meantime I am going to love you for thinking of my life when you read this book. Sweet sweet sweetness. I can’t wait. Remind me to blog about the time I thought my childhood life was in a Penguin book. I have been searching for that book ever since. It is fascinating! 

23 comments:

  1. Awhhh.....That is so wonderful !!!!! I'm gonna get that book ASAP.....I wanna love our Darling Deb even more too :D !!!!! Read the post youve linked Barb....sucha beautiful post...filled with LOVE......Gosh the fact that you remembered Deb whilst reading the book.....awhhh....it warmed my heart.....Your amazing !!!
    Deb you are AWESOME !!!......When i was reading the post 'brotherly love' honestly I wished I had a sister like you.... You have no idea how lucky I am to have you and Barb in my life !!!!*tackle-hug*
    why are you gals so great.....???? Ive never been so HAPPY !!!!Love you both xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shalaka thank you. You girl are a delight! Such a great attitude and lovely spirit. Always love hearing from you!

      Delete
    2. I second Deb's emotion! Hugging you back, my darling!

      Delete
    3. Ohhh...you gals are just ANGELS!!!!!! 'Love you'....is just not enough....we really have to invent a new word !!!

      Delete
  2. Awwwhhh....Thanks Deb ! Love talking to you....... <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  3. I read Too Close To The Falls and just loved it. Immediately, I ran out to my local book store and bought the follow up book, After The Falls. It is almost as good. I understand there is a third book soon to be published.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard about After the Falls and will check it out. She also writes a great blog that you can reach through the website I linked.

      Delete
  4. barbara that book sounds interesting . i must see if i can get it . i love to read and i haven't bought a good book in ages . there is a brilliant Irish author called Alice Taylor you might like to read , if you can find her books . she has written a series of books about life in County Cork in the South of Ireland from the 1950's to modern times . she has also written at least one or 2 books of fiction which i have not read .

    i enjoyed reading debs earlier post here that Barbara linked to. i am an only child . my mom and dad adopted me when i was 6 weeks old in 1975 (save you counting i am 36 :-)) . mom had a still birth and a miscarriage in the previous 4 years to my adoption . i think she and dad had given up trying to have kids by natural means by the time i came along , also they were 40 when they adopted me so age was against them too (in those days , not so much today ) obviously i have never had a relationship the one deb describes in my life . it is wonderful to hear about those that have . people ask me do i ever miss having siblings . truth be told i don;t miss what I've never had . i have also seen brothers and sisters that can;t get along to save their lives . it is good to see there are those that get along fine .

    p.s we hope mom is coming home from hospital tomorrow . she was supposed to come home yesterday but her nurse suggested she stay on as her 3rd chemo session is today there would be little point in going home only to have to come back so soon. today mom asked to stay in one more day as the side effects from the chemo are beginning to be felt . mostly she is very tired . thankfully we have all been through this before so we roughly know what can happen .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda, will definitely look for Alice Taylor. As for siblings, it's funny, when I was first starting to have children, there was this big thing about having more than one, but all the kids I've seen grow up as singles have turned out just so perfectly: loving, generous, compassionate, sociable. So siblings are great, but they're just another reality.

      And Linda, I am just so so sorry your mom has to face this gruelling time. But I have full faith that she'll do everything she can to heal. Sending you all more wishes and love and healing thoughts!!!

      Delete
  5. Cathy Gildiner and I met in a psychiatric hospital 40 years and no, we weren't patients. We worked together on the children's unit. We reconnected a few years ago and she kindly came to a meeting of my book club in Niagara on the Lake and on another occasion did a reading at the National Historic Site where I worked. We then organized a reunion of the psych staff that was a real hoot. Cathy is remarkably accomplished, superfunny and down to earth and I love it when we cross paths.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my god, Nag, that is wonderful! Thanks for sharing. She seems to be all those things: comes through in her writing. Okay, but how much do I love that you guys met in a psyche ward? Especially for its real meaning.

      Delete
  6. Loved the book, also read it in my book club.....wouldn't it be cool if this blog could have a "get together" Wow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I once dreamed here of starting a Middle Ages book club -- and Rigel dubbed it The Middle Pages! -- but haven't had the mental resources to figure out how would be best... Would be fun though!

      Delete
  7. Sweet. I just Finished Cutting for Stone and would so recommend it. It is over 500 pages so it will take awhile. I read it in two days, couldn't put it down. That hasn't happened for a long time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OOh, nice. Will check that one out, thanks, Madge!

      Delete
  8. Wow. This book sounds great! I think it is so sweet that it reminds you of Deb. Definitely makes me want to read it even more now! I tend to avoid those types of books because I just don't like the format, but this one sounds very interesting, so I will have to pick it up.
    Happy Reading!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I LOVED Gildiner's book ... laughed out loud so many times ... absolutely delightful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I KNEW you would like that one, Kate!!

      Delete
  10. I am not very familiar with Canadian writers but I might have to read this once I am not drowning in full-time school craziness (just about 3 more months to go!!!!).

    I have a HUGE list of books I want to read post-pomp and circumstance! :]

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ooooh!! Psychology! LOVE psychology, mental health, psychologists, GAAAH. Will definitely have to read it someday!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Two quick things, already got the book on my e-reader and second looking for something to watch on tv stopped on just for laughs and caught a bit of Deb, such a cutie!

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.