The Huffington Post Book Club is currently reading the book Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton. If you have not heard of this book, the title pretty much says it all.
So far, I am liking the book. I have read through Chapter 10, which is halfway. I hover somewhere between liking this woman, and disliking her. I really liked her as a child, because she was able to write the thought processes of a child in such a true way, that it was totally believable. Maybe it was the way I grew up, but when people claim that nine-year-old's are saying all sorts of swear words and such, I don't find it believable. But she doesn't really claim to have done that all the time. And the way she looks up to her older siblings is something I can relate to. I also loved the magical way she describes the parties that her family held, because I'm sure as a child, the whole thing was magically to her as well.
Gabrielle as a person seems to begin to fall apart after her parents get divorced, which is understandable, but it is where my ability to relate to her ends. When I was 13, I wasn't dressing the way she was, nor did I steal or lie about my age. I am also harboring a bit of jealously over the fact that she was able to travel around Europe in a way I wish I could. But I keep trying to remind myself that your money could go a little further then than it does now.
I think my favorite part was when she attended the University of Michigan. I thought her assessment of Michiganders was sort of funny. I'm not sure that we actually talk like that, though I have been asked before when out of state if I was from Michigan. They could tell. I could also understand how she felt when she was working through her graduate degree in creative writing. Even though I attended Western Michigan University, and I was only working on my Bachelors degree, I still felt the same way about most of my classmates as she did. Almost everyone was so into themselves, and thought their weed induced "abstract" writing was so good, and I just didn't get it. Luckily, in most classes, you found that one person who was on the same page as yourself.
Gabrielle never comes out and says, at least in the first half, that she is a lesbian or expresses any preference for other women, or even talks about being confused as a child. Part of me was surprised by this lack of information, but the other half of me thinks that this is the way it SHOULD be. When a heterosexual person is writing about their life, whether fiction or non-fiction, it's not always, "I was so confused about liking someone from the other gender" or other self proclamations about their sexuality. And when the person talks about their boy/girlfriend of the opposite gender, no one thinks twice. And that's how it should be for homosexuals as well. If they want to casually mention that they found a girlfriend in a butch girl from Michigan, it should not cause an eye-brow raise from the reader. I actually like that she just mentions it without trying to be a martyr.
I don't have much else to say about the book at this time, but look for my follow-up blog about the second half of the book sometime soon!