“Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth?” in this world. A watch of a grand father for the life of a young boy?
This is not an easy reading, as it permeates with human suffering beyond understanding. The plot unfolds in soviet Lithuania of 1941 and takes us on the forced journey of a Lithuanian family to Altai and, then next to the arctic circle. The unbelievable hurdles they go through and their stamina are humbling.
I lived in the soviet Union in the years of its glory and we knew nothing about the price people paid to build the infrastructure and resources we benefited from. It took years for the veil over repressions, forced labour, mass deportation to come down after the fall of the Berlin wall.
I am grateful to authors like Sepetys who do the research, talk to people who lived through it all and then put it on paper for us to read, even as historical fiction.
I am usually not a big fan of short stories. Yet, “A thousand years of good prayers” made me adore each story on their own unique merits.
The love story of Granny Lin in « Extra », the prison of shame in « After a life », the vulnerability to time of cultural figures in “Immortality”, the nobleness of keeping a promise in “Love in the Marketplace”, breaking away from the traditions in “Son”, emotional barriers to communication in “A thousands years of good prayers” are some of the themes we’ll find in the collection along with mythology and storytelling for a great authenticity of Chinese characters. In sum, such an exquisite mastery of the plots makes each story a fully fledged novel.
The interview with Yiyun Li included in this edition offers numerous insights and provides a glimpse into how she writes in her unique way. Highly recommended.
I had a truly delightful time with this book. The writing style is as mesmerizing as a warm wind in spring. Flashbacks intertwine softly with stories into a story which is both moving and unemotional at the same time.
The story is narrated by Mr Stevens, a butler at Darlington Hall in its years of fame and prosperity. His British sense of duty and order teleports readers in the behind the scenes of one of the famous aristocratic house of the beginning of the 20th century. Politics, housekeeping, father-son relations, an un-lived love, intricacies of the butler’s profession make a fine story, where values of loyalty and integrity remain central.
This is one of the books I find to be appealing to different audiences in the same clear and friendly language. If you are looking for advice on your online and social media presence, this is the book. Equally, if you work in a more and more virtual working environment, this is the book.
I wrote about my take aways for the working environment on myprojectdelight.com. Here are my take aways for the online social media presence.
“Writing is hard; few of us do it well.” Our modern world requires all of us to become writers.
“Good writing also has authenticity, consistency, transparency, empathy, and connection.”
“In the virtual world, good storytelling is even more important”. Learn from the best and do not frown at hashtags. The shortest story ever belongs to Hemingway. His bet started inadvertently a flash-fiction game that has gone on to this day: six-word stories.
I found an abundance of great advice and tools here: empathy quiz, advice on basic online hygienic package, how to create and manage your online persona, and where to get started, etc.
And a call for action: “We need to reclaim our lost humanity on the web. We need to restore the emotions that all too many of the digital conveniences of the modern world have silently and unthinkingly taken away.”
This Easter for me is about those who put food on our table. Every day. Crisis, no crisis.
Those who work the land from dusk to dawn. Those who water the crops and harvest it. Those who get their hands dirty and foreheads sweaty. Those who deliver it and put it on the shelves, so that we only pick and choose with our manicured hands.
Those in school kitchens, restaurants and cafes who feel no pain from burns and cuts, as their remedy is love for food and people they feed.
Parents who cook for their kids. Kids who cook for their parents. Grandmas who know no sleep over simmering pots in anticipation of their visiting grandchildren.
All those who will share what they have and cut a boiled egg in 2 and share it with a hungry human or a hungry cat.
Those who are grateful for their food and kiss the hands of those who put food on table. Every day.
– Oh, it’s hard. It’s just so hard…
– What’s hard, Maria?
Her daughter gave birth last week. Both mom and baby are fine.
– Nothing of what I do, pleases her.
They new family leaves with Maria. One roof, same walls.
Sobbing transforms into convulsive weeping. A hug is chasing it away.
– It’s the hormones and fatigue, Maria. Give her some time.
– It’s so hard. None of my advice or help is well received. I raised three kids and never followed a diet, or supplemented breast milk with formula….
– Give her some time. Be there when she needs you. It will get better, you’ ll see. It’s her experience as a mom now.
…. I made a mental note, a reminder to myself and I plan to stick to it. New moms need to learn and experience motherhood the way and at the pace they feel it. It’s their body. Their baby. Their decisions and their consequences. Being a mother does not automatically and for life make you “The expert-mom”.
I’ve seen women replacing their daughters as mothers and assuming full responsibility for a while. But a time comes when the mother will claim back her role and status. Or the child will want his bond with his mother to be real. What will the grandmother’s role be then? Substituting, even if through advice only, hits back, no matter how nobel the intentions were.
Found many reasonable insights in Melinda Blau’s article “Four difficult truths about your grand children’ parents”, link here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melinda-blau/overcoming-4-difficult-truths-about-your-grandchilds-parents_b_5651560.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000037
The ultimate objective is to have happy kids, happy parents and happy grandparents. Ego’s aside, “know it all” attitude will stay on my way to grandparent happiness. There are hundreds of ways to do dishes. There are hundreds of ways to embrace parenthood. I will face my insecurities without burdening my child. Grandparenting is not about compensating for whatever I missed or skipped doing as a parent. As grandparents, we owe this understanding to ourselves and our children, who would love a role model of wisdom and family balance and happiness. This is what grandparenting is ultimately about.