Monday, March 4, 2013

My Book Club: A Morning Gift

While I was at the bookstore (a common occurrence), I picked up a book from the young adult section that I thought my mom might enjoy. You should know that I owe the majority of my love of reading and writing to my mother. Some of my best childhood memories revolve around her reading to me before nap time or reading to all of us before bed (imagine 10 kids stuffed into a king-sized bed—it was fantastic!).

That being said, my mom doesn't read for leisure anymore. She's huge on genealogy. When she's not on her computer at home using some mysterious (to me) new genealogy researching tool, she's taking genealogy classes or either studying or working at the genealogy library. I applaud this. I really do. But it's a proven fact that the human body works best in 90 minute intervals. You go from high energy to low energy within those 90 minutes, and then you need to take a break, relax, and do something to recharge for the next 90 minutes. 

Hence: the book.

My mom's afraid to read for fun, I think, because she doesn't want the reading to take on a life of its own and consume her. I freely admit that I bought this book for Mom because I knew that she'd then feel obligated to read it, and I think a little leisure reading will be good for her.

In deference to Mom's need to do something constructive, I chose a book by Eva Ibbotson: A Morning Gift. For those of you who don't know this author, she's fantastic. She largely writes (or wrote, rather) historical fiction set in the early half of the 1900s. She adds a lot of very contextually accurate and important historical details while keeping a magical, whimsical thread in her stories. The main characters are young women who face some sort of trial due to that historical period. A Morning Gift is about a young Jewish woman stuck in Vienna, Austria during the Nazi regime.

My sister and I also have the book and we are going to start a reading club to urge my mother on. Feel free to read along with us this month (I gave Mom and entire month to read the book) and post comments here on the book club page. I hope we get a good discussion going!


  1. My daughter seems to think she knows what is best for me. I don't know if I like her telling everyone of my obsession for family history research. I must admit the author has pulled me into Ruth's world and the horrific era of World War II. Having served a mission in England I took the opportunity to talk to the older citizens about the war years and their personal experiences,being children at the time,
    so I know that the situation for the Berger's and their Viennese friends will become much worse in the pages ahead.

  2. Love it! I've been meaning to read something by Eva Ibbotson for quite sometime now. I want to read it with you all! We'll see if I can squeeze it in between my other three (yes, three) book clubs. :-)

    1. Squeeze away! Eva Ibbotson is awesome. Her book, Countess Under Stairs, is particularly good. It really reminds me of Downton Abbey.