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The Welsh Bookworm

The Welsh Bookworm is a librarian living and working in rural Minnesota. She is a past-president of the St. David’s Society of Minnesota, leads the Welsh folk-dance group Traed Y Ddraig, and teaches Welsh language classes. Her Welsh Bookworm column was featured occasionally in the newspaper Y Drych, now part of Ninnau. Laurel works for the Carver County Public Libraries in Waconia and Norwood Young America, loves reading, music, dance, languages, genealogy, gardening, and bird watching. Laurel reads historical fiction, mysteries, sci fi/fantasy, medieval and British history, Arthurian fiction, classics, and of course, anything connected to Wales. Follow my blog at http://welshbookworm.wordpress.com

Currently reading

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train
William Kuhn
The Boleyn Deceit
Laura Andersen
The Stone Diaries - Carol Shields This beautifully written book defies classification. Is it the story of an ordinary woman living through extraordinary events, or an extraordinary woman living through ordinary events? Daisy Goodwill reflects on her birth (Manitoba, 1905) and her death (Florida, 199?) and everything in between. Sometimes it is Daisy's story, then it shifts to the voices of her friends, neighbors, and children, or an omniscient third person. One chapter is told entirely through letters. Like a real biography, there are pictures of the family and a genealogy chart. Despite this touch of "authenticity," one is left wondering how much of Daisy's life was imagined or made up. The ultimate question it asks is how do we define ourselves? What is it that gives our lives meaning? Daisy struggles with these questions throughout her life, and I'm not sure she ever finds an answer. She is a strong and independent woman, and yet she is always letting others define her. She tries to be the dutiful wife and the perfect mother ala Good Housekeeping magazine. She is thrown into severe depression when her role as Mrs. Green Thumb (newspaper columnist) comes to an end. And at the end of her life she is defined by her illness. How well do any of us ever really know ourselves or the people closest to us? I know that large parts of my life have felt made up as I've gone along!