Tuesday, August 16, 2011

FTLadies: Final Thoughts

So I finished Fair and Tender Ladies and, if it wasn't noticable in the previous post, I highly recommend it.  Here's a few final thoughts:

As Ivy grows and ages you become more and more entrapped in her successes and mistakes.  I know I am happy to have plans to spend Labor day weekend in the mountains--I need them after reading this novel.  Silvaney continues to be a force in this story even in her absence, even in her death as we discover happened years and years ago despite the continued letters written to her.  She is still a ever present reality for Ivy--that connection to her childhood.  What a beautiful scene when Ivy writes to her daughter that she knew Silvaney was dead and that no, she's not crazy to have written to her dead sister all these years.  It was the writing that mattered, not the letter itself, not the reading of it--but the process of writing her innermost thoughts to her best friend.  Silvaney becomes an outlet for Ivy to have a journal or a diary without even the understanding of what it means to write down ones thoughts purely for the theraputic necessity of writing.  When Ivy burns the letters (of course now I can't find the passage to reference, but it happened, I swear!) and watches them spark and flame into the mountain air, she lets go of her childhood and her past life and is able to finally be content with being Ivy--something we all need to learn to do, find that comfort in our own skin.  She does the same when she unscrews the mason jar full of lightenbugs caught by her surrogate grandchildren and watches them crawl out of the jar and then fly away (pg. 273).  Guh, Lee, your descriptions are right on!

Also, her last name after she is married becomes "Fox". So yeah, add that to the whole "nature" "wildness" thing mentioned previously.

Up next:  Great Gatsby.  The required High School reading that I plum forgot.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, friend. Way to savor what sounds like a great read. I'll have to check it out sometime. Did you happen to see that article in the newest edition of the Oxford American called "Lee Smith and Me"? Sort of fun.