While I was waiting for Amazon to deliver my imaginary book club selections, I read Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay. And yes, for the record, I did buy it at Target. I’m almost ashamed to admit that it was probably the Oprah’s Book Club selection sticker on the front cover that made me pick it up and read the back cover. But such is my life. I buy books at Target and sometimes I read Oprah’s Book Club selections. I guess I just like the fact that it means someone read it and liked it a lot.
Vinegar Hill is about a family that moves in with the husband’s parents because of financial problems. The family is above average dysfunctional. Living there is unpleasant to say the least.
I realize the book is set in 1972 and I realize that I’m a modern girl. But I’m telling you now, if I lived with inlaws that treated me and my children like scum I’d rather live in my car. Not only would I not cook and clean and walk on egg shells around everyone, I wouldn’t even come home. I’d just curl up in the backseat of the car with my kids. We’d eat cheese and crackers for dinner. Because I know I couldn’t do it. Day in and day out I could not deal with such a lonely miserable existence. Especially my children having to live with people who can’t stand them. A child should have a home where they can be themselves and feel safe and secure. That within those 4 walls if nowhere else in the world, they are accepted and loved for exactly who they are.
I read this book very quickly and I attribute that largely to waiting for things to get better for the family. It’s well written and I really enjoyed the writing style. But I don’t know that I’d recommend it. I tend to really put myself into books. I tend to really feel like I’m there and part of things. As a result, reading about a woman with a lonely miserable existence was difficult for me at times. I felt like the tone of the house actually began to infiltrate my life. I actually felt sad and caught myself looking for resemblances between my beloved husband and the insensitive husband in the book.
My husband made a comment one night about dishes that needed to be done and I think I channeled the wife in the book and just immediately started washing them. When I was done I even asked if there was anything else I could do for him. Which is so very Stepford Wife and not me. I mean, is his arm broken? If he’s got time to bring dishes in the sink to my attention seems to me he’s got time to wash a few.
Like I said, difficult but well written.