The Diary, by Eileen Goudge
Mother's Day is rapidy approaching and the timing for Eileen Goudge's new novel couldn't have been better.
The Diary tells the story of two sisters, grown well into adulthood, who come across a diary....their mother's diary as a young woman.
Author Eileen Goudge has hit upon a timeless question: how well do any of us really know our mothers? Mothers are part of the fabric of our being. They feed us, care for us, fix us when we're broken and all too often, we take this in stride with nary a thought as to who they are as a person. Simply put, they are just mom.
Rarely, if ever, do we give thought to who our mother's really are: their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations and disappointments. Perhaps this is a natural phenomenon. After all, what if the part we - their children - played in their lives isn't what we thought it would be?
The Diary tries to answer some of these questions with a tender, heart-warming flavor. At only 224 pages, the story is too short to develop characters to their full potential, but this doesn't detract from the novel by any means.
Told in a series of flashbacks introduced by a diary entry, the reader is taken back for a look at a young woman's series of choices that may, or may not, have cost her her one true love. While the story certainly is engaging enough, it is A Reader's Respite's opinion (read: take it with a grain of salt) that the brief present-day scenes between the sisters as they read their mother's diary could have been left out entirely with no harm done.
Which brings us to our recent informal poll and many thanks to those who participated. It would seem that the use of the word "Sis" in conversation with one's sister finds somewhat common usage in the Southern U.S. For those readers who are familiar with the vernacular down South, the dialogue in The Diary won't phase you a bit. For the rest of us, however, it has moments where the use of words like "sis" creates awkward, stilted dialogue that detracts from the story.
In short, it kind of bugged us.
Still, the novel had more good points than not and would make a lovely Mother's Day read or gift. The idea of our mothers before they were mothers is intriguing indeed.
Want to read this book? Leave a comment and on Friday, May 8th, A Reader's Respite will pick a random winner!
Title: The Diary
Author: Eileen Goudge
Publisher: Vanguard Press
Date: April 7, 2009
Some more reviews for your perusal:
Stephanie's Written Word
Lesa's Book Critiques
Wendy's Minding Spot
Writings of a Loud Librarian