Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Traveling With Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Monk Taylor

Hmm.  Well, it was... interesting.  (That's like saying the girl who showed up for the blind date was... "nice".)  It was fun to read this and get a little of the back story on how The Secret Life of Bees came to be.  For those like myself who weren't sure what to do with the wackadoo religion practiced by the wonderful sisters in that book, this one is even worse.  It's one thing to go, "Oh.  They are worshipping a masthead.  That they named the black Mary.  And they smear honey on it and dance around.  Interesting.  Fiction.  Creative...?"  It's entirely another thing when the people behind the book actually do these things for real in some hippie feminist idol-worship religion of their own making.  The making of that craziness is the essence of this book.  It's pretty touchy-feely and although supposedly a "travel book", it has very little to do with either travel or the destinations and everything to do with what happened there.  In addition to the making of the black Mary religion, it is also a coming of age(s) story.  I liked this aspect of the book.  It explores the becoming women experience at pivotal moments in life such as going to college and becoming an adult, having your child get married, menopause, midlife crisis, grandparenting, and the shift in roles and relationships each time one of these pivot points intersect our lives.  Again, pretty touchy-feely, but a lovely portrayal of mothers and daughters and the ties that bind them.  I would like to note that the authors took turns writing chapters and surprisingly, I enjoyed Ann Kidd Taylor's chapters much more than Sue Monk Kidd's.  I might recommend it for a mother-daughter book group but otherwise I would say you could probably skip this one and find something better to read.

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