Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Too Close to the Falls - Catherine Gildiner

Well, I took books with me on vacation, but for the most part they never got opened. Eeek! Thank goodness someone's been reading. Resident guest blogger Julia is back with here review of Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Gildiner.

"We are always told that truth is stranger than fiction. This book proves that statement again. Too Close to the Falls is a memoir, written by Catherine Gildiner, a psychologist living in Toronto. It is hard to believe than anyone could have had the childhood described in such vivid detail in this book – unless, of course, you think about your own childhood and realize we all have amazing stories to tell.

Catherine grew up with parents who encouraged her inquisitive mind, and found unique ways in which to harness her energy. From the age of four she worked in her father’s pharmacy. Mc. Gildiner relates her experiences through the eyes of that four-year old, and through the eyes of a much older, wiser, eight and nine-year old, re-examining the situations and beliefs of the four-year old. The stories are funny, and touching. We feel for Catherine as she learns some of the harder lessons of childhood.

The beauty of this book is that Ms. Gildiner is able to take the reader on a journey through her childhood, evoking memories of what it was like to be a child growing up in a confusing world. Catherine questions Catholicism and her role in a world ruled by Catholic absolutes. She asks questions about aboriginals and their place in her world. And who has not been in a situation where you felt “different” or did things in a way that was not the norm for your community? The stories about how Catherine and her mother ate out for every meal, and how Catherine consequently had no real idea of what a kitchen was for, are funny, but I also felt empathy for Catherine when she was criticized for her lifestyle.

This book will make you laugh, and it will tug at your heart. The writing is beautiful, and the story is compelling. This is one that I did not want to put down."

What a great review - thanks Julia!


Patti V. said...

This sounds really good. Great review from the guest blogger.
I, for one, am happy you opted to spend more time with your extended family than you spent reading while on vacation!

Luanne said...

So am I Patti, so am I!!

MG said...

I am the author's husband. If you liked this book, you will love the next volume, called "After the Falls" which just came out in Canada a few weeks ago, to terrific acclaim. Not available in U.S. till next year. You can try or
Have fun.

avisannschild said...

I read this author's novel, Seduction, and didn't really enjoy it, but this book sounds great. I'm going to see if I can find it at my library.

bermudaonion said...

I'm a memoir junkie so this sounds great to me!

Jeanne said...

I finally got around to reading this, and enjoyed most of it. The parts about Catholicism got a bit long, but most of it is delightful.