metro mama

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Metro Mama Reviews: Dropped Threads 3

The latest conquest in my reading frenzy is Dropped Threads 3, the third collection of essays from Canadian women about the lives of women. I loved the first two Dropped Threads collections (co-edited by Carol Shields), though they are, at times, a tough read—the theme of the first is “things you haven’t been told” and the subject matter is not light.

The theme of this collection is “this I know”. The book reminds me of the blogosphere; the editor, Marjorie Anderson, describes the stories as “one means of getting a trusted inside view—This is how wisdom, love, joy, betrayal, fear, regret have been for us. No assertions of absolute truth, no earth-shaking revelations or attempts to manipulate another’s belief, just individual voices making individual claims on the discovery of meaning”. Well put.

The stories cover a wide range of topics, from family, to nature, to sexuality. There are several stories about motherhood. Some stories that stood out for me:

· The Road to Kihande Village, Melanie D. Janzen’s story about her study of how women in a small village in Uganda work together to support their families and community.

· I am a Mother. Tracey Ann Coveart, stay-at-home mom, writes about her difficulty in answering simply, “I am a mother” to the dreaded cocktail party query, “what do you do?”.

· In Uncharted Waters, Silken Laumann candidly discusses the doubts and restlessness she feels sometimes with parenting.

· Work and Its Dubious Delights. Aritha van Herk talks about the joys and challenges of academia.

· The Inoculation. Heather Mallick’s warning tale about “fuckfaces”, those bad boyfriends who can waste years of your life. Mallick was my favourite Globe and Mail columnist – does anyone know what happened to her column?

· Fu: The Turning Point. Janice Williamson describes her experience of adopting a child from China.

· In the Presence of Grace. This story, by Cathy Stonehouse, brought me to tears. Her unborn child diagnosed with trisomy-18, a woman opts to deliver her baby (instead of having her surgically removed), bury her, and mourn her as she deserves.

I highly recommend all three Dropped Threads collections. I’m a big fan of short stories in general—two of my favourite writers are Hemingway and Alice Munro. They’re perfect for squeezing in during baby’s naptime. Far better time spent than doing housework, I say.


Movie Reco: Match Point

Last night we saw the best film we’ve seen in a long time, Match Point, Woody Allen’s latest. It's set in London. Chris (Johnathan Rhys Meyers), a social-climbing Irish tennis instructor, meets pupil Tom, son of a wealthy British businessman. The two become fast friends and Tom introduces Chris to his sister, Chloe, who quickly sets her sights on marriage. Tom is engaged to Nola (Scarlett Johansson), an American aspiring actress; the attraction between between Chris and Nola is immediate and intense.

The film draws on Dostoevsky and explores the British class system, ambition, and the place of luck in the lives of men. Rhys Meyers and Johansson are riveting.

Match Point is sexy, dark, and suspenseful. Perfectly paced, it keeps you hooked from the beginning, to the killer surprise ending.



Blogger crazymumma said...

The first Dropped Threads (I think it was the first), contains a story by Juennifer Schulz, a friend of ours. Pretty potent stuff.

4:24 PM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

another great title to put on my must-read list.
thanks mm

10:38 PM  
Blogger petite gourmand said...

just rented Match Point last night,
you are right, a great movie..thanks for the tip.
another good flick is Everything Is Illuminated
Liev Schrieber's directorial debut, staring Elijah Wood.
Loved it.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Haley-O said...

Great reviews, Metro Mama. I'm going to pick up a copy of the Dropped Threads collection. I like the idea of a book of essays, since I find I have so little time to read lately. And, a book by women for women sounds wonderful to me right now.

I'm definitely picking up Match Point now. I'm a huge Woody Allen and Scarlet Johansson fan....

Wow, you've given me a lot to do....

Oh, by the way, you've been TAGGED. :)

7:19 PM  
Blogger something blue said...

I loved Match Point!

I will have to pick up that book. When I was pregnant (both times) my ultrasound and blood work came back flagged with a possibility of carrying a baby with Trisomy-18. We were lucky that it was misdiagnoses and we have two healthy girls. It was a horrible moment of pregnancy.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous krista said...

Hwy, I picked up Dropped Threads 2. Thanks for the reminder about it. i'd been meaning to get it, but kept forgetting. (I'll get three when I'm done with 2)

2:30 PM  
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