Why do I read books half the night? So I don't take time away from homeschooling my children, of course. And still get to read all that I want. And be exhausted later or learn to power sleep, an art that I perfected years ago when I worked as a technical writer and kept an active social life on the side.
This time, it was the book Rachel & Leah, by Orson Scott Card. I have to admit that I have never read any of his sci-fi/fantasy books. We own them, of course. My husband enjoys them. I also periodically read his essays at hatrack.com which I enjoy. I'm just not terribly hip on fantasy. I have tried, but . . . .
My husband keeps telling me I pick each author's worst books to read. To which I wonder why we own them. :-) (It doesn't help that I've actually been so adverse to a few of them that I have literally thrown them away. With my hubby's permission so obviously he was not attached to them either.) Personally, I think it goes back to that Fitzgerald dude that I had to spend an unearthly amount of time teaching about his "wonderful" book (The Great Gatsby) that I didn't care for on the first reading. It didn't improve by having to dissect it. The student teacher doesn't get to pick the books though! :-( (I also tend to steer very far away from lengthy book series. I get bored with the story or the intensity or lack of such after the first book or two---three if the author is very good.)
I had a friend in 9th grade that kept funneling me a fantasy series which I loved though. If only I could remember what series it was! On the other hand, that was the year I read some Harlequins and was enthralled through at least the first two. That was also the year I discovered Gone With the Wind (quite on my own). So I had some taste anyway even if I did try the Harlequins briefly!
Back to Card's book. I loved Rachel and Leah. They are part of the Women of Genesis series, and I have loved each one of them. They are awesome! I love the insight and the total likelihood of the emotions and thoughts he writes about. I think that so many authors manhandle the women in the Bible. They had the same feelings, the same issues, as we do. We are not stick figures, who move around dumbly according to some preplanned program. We are women of free choice, even the most unthinking chooses to not think.
Why would those women be any different? This book is fiction, obviously because you cannot write a book length novel about any one person in the Bible without adding information or at least dialogue. I think it succeeds though, because it considers challenges and responses faced by other women and allows us to think about our own challenges and responses we make to them. And I love books that do that!