October 28, 2009 If you picked up this paper on Wednesday morning, as I usually do, you will be reading this column as I put the finishing touches on readying the house for some friends to join me in a discussion of the book A Woman's Place by Lynn Austin. Hey—maybe you'd even like to join us. And that would be just fine with me. Well, maybe if you ALL come, we won't all fit, but a handful of you could help grow our group.
The book has been a fun read for me. In fact, I'm in the middle of re-reading it as I've kind of forgotten some of it; and I'm the one who suggested it—that means I will be facilitating the discussion.
The story line involves four women whose lives intertwined as they became lunchroom friends at the shipyards during World War II. About as unlikely as you'd expect a group of friends to be, the four dealt with life's issues as they came along. One of the topics that surfaced was the discrimination they saw—inequity which showed up in a number of scenarios. That, in fact, became one of the resounding themes in the book, and about the time they thought they knew the answers, they would discover that perhaps they were as guilty as the folks with whom they interacted—except that their own brand had a different face.
Of special interest to me were the issues over which people got bent out of shape in that generation—and the realization that each era has its own stuff with which to wrestle. If you haven't read the book, check the library. I'm told our local library circulates 16 or so copies; and once we're finished with them, they will be back in the system for the rest of you to borrow. Enjoy! And let me know what you think of the peach cobbler story.