When I was on my way to my snowy adventure, after I OJ’d in the airport, I spent several hours traveling by van to the beauty on the lake. As part of my journey, I passed many a small community and remote homes.
“How do people live out here?”
That is when I realized two things: 1) if I’m asking the question that way, there will not be answer I will understand; and 2) they probably think the same thing about my life. I live in a big city, in a condo with shared walls, on a busy street. It’s never quiet and never completely dark.
I actually tried to prepare myself for these types of questions before I left. Because this adventure took place in a state I’d never been before, I wanted a sneak peak at what to expect. Rather than using the all powerful Google to directly tell me about the region, I decided to have the search engine find me a novel set in the state. What I chose was The Elegant Gathering of White Snows.
What drew me to the book was it was about average women … who were in a book club together. That was something I could relate to, or at least want to relate to. I loved the book. It’s so strange that I say that because normally chic lit is not my thing, but it was incredibly heartwarming and relatable.
Obviously it didn’t help me instantly understand the people who lived in these remote houses that flew by at freeway speeds. It did, however, present a (fictional) slice of life for this group of friends that, while a heck of a lot more conservative than my peer group, were still going through the drudge of day to day living.
I tried to imagine what the people would read to try to get a feel for what my life is like. When I searched for books based in my home town, there were tons of murder mysteries and military romance series. Hmmmm. But there was also How to Be An American Housewife.
Although I am not a Japanese immigrant to the US like the main character, and my experience here has been dramatically different from hers, I did appreciate the genuine treatment of the city. Plus it had an added bonus of the occasional home ec passages to it!
Can you image living in the polar opposite of your current situation? or What is your favorite book that took place in your home town?