Monday, April 14, 2008

Northanger Abbey and Cannibalism

I fell ill yesterday and resolved to make my family fend for themselves around here whilst I put my feet up with a book. I blush to report that I had not yet read this slim volume of Austen's, and I vowed to read the tome entire or perish in the process. The latter was not unthinkable given my general health that day. My husband was sent to the apothecary for appropriate Nyquil and Dayquil concoctions.

What to say of such a witty, yet tedious book? The poor stupid heroine must plod through every thought as a question aloud until the conversations throughout become absolutely mind-numbing. And yet in the end we cheer for the poor stupid girl as she becomes finally the heroine of her own story and gets to marry the dashing knight in shining armor. A very satisfying read, dripping with Miss Austen's famous irony and sly wit.

Housework score: 10 chapters (more on this later)

Cannibalism comes up not infrequently at our dinner table. The twins study pioneers in 4th grade and around here, no study of pioneers coming west is complete without discussion of the ill-fated Donner party. Fascinating stuff to 10 year olds.

As it turns out, however, two of the three children claimed that they were not amused at all by the musical "Little Shop of Horrors" and in fact found the plot line a bit too ghastly. The death of the dentist on stage and the scene of his mutilated parts being fed to Audrey II disturbed my son in particular. My husband and I mused that they are probably not ready for Sweeny Todd, let alone Cannibal! the Musical.

Today I am still sick, but hope to get some needlework done in addition to the never-ending housework.

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