Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Support does not need a qualification

Another book that I really enjoyed. Why? I find this question a little difficult to answer. There seems to be a great fascination in discovering how other women did it... eg lived their lives. Perhaps so that we can measure our own experiences against theirs and rate ourselves at the same time. We do seem to have had an easier time with our washing machines and dishwashers, all now considered essential though our families are on average smaller. For the men the working day was often harder and conditions poor and there was little security. There was no NHS and few welfare benefits. Life required plenty of backbone. Would we respond with such vigour and be able to cope if faced with another war?

The group of women were self selected so all able to express themselves well, which was a good basis for an easy to read flowing style. They were also able to recognise and not feel ashamed to admit that bringing up children in isolation is not a good idea and needed to find support not otherwise available to them, family members now much more isolated from each other. The biographies at the back were very helpful as I became very keen to know all the details, identifying closely with each woman. For one book, there were sufficient stories but I had to remind myself that there were another equally large group that were not mentioned.

It was quite difficult following the women through their decline, which became very sad, as they faced the loss of both partners and children. The longevity of the CCC magazine showed remarkable commitment and indicated the real need that it served so successfully. For me, the fact that it was autobiographical and not from the imagination, gave it more power. I think that writing thoughts down enabled more ideas to be expressed and information be given more frankly than if the group were in more physical contact. However. it seems that some of the group did get together regularly.

Altogether an excellent read with many 'life lessons' on all aspects of living and the inevitability of dying.