Dinner with the Smileys when I was younger, I would have probably enjoyed it more. When I was Sarah Smiley's age, maybe. Maybe. I am just not sure.
I came into it with a really positive attitude. (I always try to think about my what my attitude was when I started a book when I end up not liking a book). I really was thinking I would enjoy this!
First of all I consider myself to be very patriotic. I have tremendous respect for those who serve in our armed forces and for their families, for the sacrifices they make and for their bravery. The other thing is, I am just starting to facilitate a non-fiction book group (super excited about this) and the group has picked this title and so I am just excited in general. Also, it was recommended to me by my dear friend and she loved it!
So was I expecting too much? That does happen sometimes!
But no, I really don't think in this case it was.
The first thing that bothered me was the realization that Sarah Smiley is a professional writer with weekly newspaper columns. When I read the blurb, I didn't remember learning this. I thought it was just a "regular" mom who was inspired by her family's situation and started posting on Facebook maybe, about these dinners and it all came from there.
But there just seemed someone a little...I don't know- at least different from what I thought when I realized she is an established writer.
The second thing that bugged me is TOTALLY minor and ridiculous, but I didn't like that she didn't know what the word ovulation meant. I mean, that is just weird. And maybe she did and she pretended she didn't know what it was in the book in a tongue-and-cheek way, just joking about not knowing what it was. It was just weird. And again, seemed a little disingenuous to me, like the fact that she is a professional writer.
The other thing, the biggest thing, is that while she does mention that some people have it so much worse than she and her boys did, I just couldn't get way from thinking, "Lady. Some people's daddies and mommies will never come home." I feel terrible feeling that way. She DOES admit to that. But I think combined with her being a professional writer, when I read "75 of our friends came to the airport to great him" when her husband is home from his deployment, I just couldn't help but think"hmmm."
But Sarah Smiley is young.
And she does seem like a lovely person.
And I can't imagine what it would be like to be away from one's spouse for a year while he or she is off serving in the military around the world.
But I thought about all those non-professional writers who won't be gathering with 75 of their closest friends, some of whom are Boston Red Sox ball players to greet their loved one home.
And I think it would be awesome if she continues to live out the rest of her life that way! I wish everyone could.
What's Going On Here?
There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.