Tuesday, June 18, 2019

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - As We Are Now; May Sarton



On Tuesday, Vicki, ( I’d Rather Be At The Beach hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where  readers post the opening paragraph (or 2 ) of a book they are reading or that they plan to read. 

As We Are Now; May Sarton
WW Norton - 1973

"I am not mad, only old.  I make this statement to give me courage.  To give you an idea what I mean by courage, suffice it to say that it has taken two weeks for me to obtain this notebook and a pen.  I am in a concentration camp for the old, a place where people dump their parents or relatives exactly as though it were an ash can.

My brother, John, brought me here two weeks ago. Of course I knew from the beginning that living with him would never work.  I had to close my own house after the heart attack (the stairs were too much for me).  John is four years older than I am and married to a much younger woman after Elizabeth, his first wife, died.  Ginny never liked me.  I make her feel inferior and I cannot help it.  John is a reader and always has been. So am I.  John is interested in politics. So am I. Ginny's only interests appear to be malicious gossip, bridge, and trying out new recipes. Unfortunately she is not a born cook.  I find the above paragraph extremely boing and it has been a very great effort to set it down.  No one wants to look hard at disagreeable things. I am not alone in that."

I learned about this book after JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing blogged about it.  I love the writing even though the story seems like a rather sad one.

Read more or pass?

24 comments:

  1. Yes, I think this does sound sad. Hope you get some enjoyment out of it. Ha!

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  2. Oh,sounds melancholy. I do have a pull to emotional reads now and again, so I'll keep this one in mind, thanks!

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  3. That really does sound sad but the writing style is wonderful.

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  4. I was visiting a friend in a rehab facility and the long-term care part shares a dining room. During lunch I looked at many of the residents and wanted to know their stories.

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    1. Nise, I worked in the nursing home industry for almost 10 years and yes, I was always fascinated when I was able to talk with a resident and learn a little about them.

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  5. People try to rationalize it these days but "a concentration camp for the old" is the truth.

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  6. I marked it to be read after reading JoAnn's blog post. It sounds sad, but also tender.

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  7. Overwhelmingly sad, but such beautiful writing! A hard book to say you enjoy, but I hope you appreciate it as much as I did.

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    1. I'm so happy you shared this one as I am drawn to sad and dark now and then.

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  8. It does sound sad, but in a way that you feel like at the end it will have been a profound read. Check out what I'm reading at Girl Who Reads

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  9. The narrator has a very powerful voice. I'd keep reading.

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  10. Oh I do hope I don't feel so sad when I'm dumped as an oldie!! LOL I think this sounds like an enjoyable read, maybe a wake-up call to us all.

    Sorry I'm late in commenting! Here is my Tuesday post.

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    1. I think sadness is normal given the circumstances. As my mother always say, "it's no fun getting old."

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  11. I'm really interested in this beginning--
    I like to believe that there can be, with effort, much more than "no fun" getting old. That's why I am now very interested in reading books and watching movies that have "older adult" characters who are dealing with some of the circumstances that accompany aging.
    Characters must change over the course of a novel, and I am certain, knowing May Sarton, that this novel is not purely bleak.

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    1. I'm now drawn to books with older characters as well; I feel like I can no longer relate to chick lit type stories.

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    2. Diane!!
      So interesting that you should mention that, because I feel exactly the same. Chick lit and novels with 20- and 30-somethings as the sole protagonists just don't reach me anymore. An interesting passage, isn't it?
      I have noted that novels can include young adults as characters as long as there are older adults as well. This is a recent development for me, and as we are close in age, isn't that interesting?
      Best to you! I hope the kits are doing very well!

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  12. I like the intro so I would keep reading. I think I'll look for a copy.

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