28 January 2011

52 Books: Week 4

This week, I knew better than to try to read East of Eden. The chaos was already on the calendar before the week started. On Monday, I was digging around at the back of library while the Curly-headed girl shot video for her movie class. For some reason, this book by Anya Seton caught my eye.

Dragonwyck is typical Gothic romance, complete with a large haunted house. It is set in the years surrounding the Mexican War, in upstate New York. The movie, by the same name, was released in 1946. Vincent Price played the lead character, Nicholas van Ryn. Appropriate. (Note to self: See how the movie compares to the book. This has to be one of Jessica Tandy's first supporting roles.)

This particular copy of the book was printed in 1944, during World War II. There was evidence of that fact; cheap paper and advertisements for war bonds on the dust jacket. This time in our nation's history fascinates me. Grandma gave me her old ration books and told me tales of cousins who would drive from Michigan to Central Illinois to see them and only have enough gas rations to get there. They were counting on Grandpa to give them extra gas for the trip home, since he was a farmer and did not always need his extra allotment.

She spoke of sugar rationing and the fact that she could not get rubber pants for her baby due to rationing. They did without a lot of "creature comforts" in those days and sacrificed to help others. This speaks volumes to me about our character as a nation back then. And surely, those values come through in this week's book. The main character learns a lot about the pull of luxury and its relative value.

And that's my third week's reading for 52 Books in 52 Weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails