Jun 25, 2008

When Katie Wakes

by Connie May Fowler

I think I picked up this book off one of the biography shelves at the Book Thing months ago. I took it along to an afternoon at the park today. While my daughter ran and climbed, I breezed through some sixty pages, gradually becoming more and more disinterested. This book just did not speak to me. When Katie Wakes is the memoir of a woman living with a man who reviles, mistreats and physically assaults her. All this while living off her paycheck, the drunken sponge! If I could finish this book, I feel I would get a better understanding of the mentality that keeps women from leaving controlling, abusive men. But I could not stomach the brutality, the callousness, and the excuses she gave him. Told in brief vignettes, the story moves back and forth from past to present, as one thought leads into another. It was way too jumpy for me and I just could not concentrate on it.

Oh, and there's a dog in the book. She adopts a black lab mix, who gives her unconditional love and affection. I think the dog played a big part in her healing. It reminded me some of The Craggy Hole in My Heart and the Cat Who Fixed It, which also featured an emotionally troubled woman who reached healing via a loving animal.

Abandoned                      271 pages, 2002

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Trish said...

I read one of her books--Before Women Had Wings several years ago (so long ago that I can only remember that I didn't like it!). Well...and that there was an abusive male in the book (husband, boyfriend? not sure).

When you abandon a book what do you do with it--do you leave it on the shelf to maybe pick up later or just get rid of it? Just curious. :)

Jeane said...

Good question, Trish. It depends on the book. Most (like this one) I immediately put up to trade on Paperback Swap or Book Mooch. Occasionally I feel I just wasn't in the right mood and keep it to try again later- A River Runs Through It and Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye are two I recently re-shelved. And of course if they're borrowed, they go straight back to the library!

Trish said...

Cat's Eye took me a bit to get into, but I ended up really liking it. I think it is a little more subtle than the other works of hers that I've read.

Lezlie said...

The love of an animal can fix almost anything! :-)

Have a great day!

Jeane said...

Lezlie: that was what drew me to the book, originally. But there wasn't enough about the dog; it was mostly focused on her unhealthy relationship...

Susan said...

If I have a book I can't finish, I give it away usually. I'm glad I stuck with The House of the Spirits, since I ended up loving it, but it's strange,Esteban is cruel too. Maybe we are not interested in reading about abused women? I know I'm not. I'm tired of it! so I don't blame you, and kudos for actually putting it aside, which I still find hard to do.