Newbery Book Review

The View From Saturday

I have tried writing this too many times in the last two weeks. I’ve sat down at this computer and tried to eek out something that would be worth saying and each time I’ve failed. Writing is discouraging that way I suppose. But I’m hoping this time is a winner. It is the end of a very satisfying Saturday and Forrest and I are listening to the new Decemberists album and I have my favorite childhood treat: Barnum’s Animal Cookies at my side.

What’s interesting about having a tough time writing about this particular book (which is The View from Saturday by E.L. Kongisburg by the way) is that I loved this story. It’s all about friendship, intelligence, tea time and plot twists. I’d recommend it in a heartbeat and have already done so actually. Maybe I feel the pressure to say something really profound about it because I did like it so much but the profundity is just not pouring forth.

I will say this: I had a sort of epiphany about being married while I laid in bed last Saturday morning. I was in the place between dream and reality and was thinking about what it would be like if Forrest and I ever got a divorce. This thought was not the result of a fight the previous night or even the previous week. It was just there. I started to wonder how we would figure out who gets to keep what in our apartment. Sure, there’s the stuff that was his or mine when we first got married, but since August 14 we have bought, or been given, a ton of stuff that isn’t “his” or “mine” but “ours.” Ours. With this train of thought I was struck by the realization that Forrest and I share everything. With a roommate you can eventually figure out who gets what because someone probably paid more or wants it more or whatever, but in a marriage you share most of everything. It’s a beautiful reality. And the funny thing is that I don’t even like to share that much. Blame it on growing up during the first and very formative seven years of my life as an only child but the truth of the matter is that I really don’t like it. Being married to Forrest has made me look at and experience sharing in a completely different way. I actually like it! Of course there are times where it still sucks and I want to succumb to my inner two-year-old who is screaming “mine!” at the top of her lungs, but I think being married has opened me up to the act of sharing a lot more and for that I am grateful.

In The View from Saturday a friendship (which in some ways is kind of like a marriage, right?) is formed over an invitation to afternoon tea and from there “The Souls” is formed: a group of four very unlikely friends who somehow work well together. I really don’t want to say more than that. You should read it though because it’s a wonderful story that, I think, grips you at the first. I’m looking forward to reading the next Konigsburg from year 1968. Doesn’t seem like we’ll ever get there does it?

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