Sep. 18th, 2017

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T. was home sick today, still vomiting (started Sunday night, continued through 1:30 p.m. today thus making Tuesday another home sick day, since there is a 24 delay before they want a kid back at school after the most recent event).

My walking partner wisely declined coming by the house either for a walk or a snack. I pre-emptively canceled Dutch.

I had a lovely phone conversation with K., because you can't catch germs from thousands of miles away.

When R. got home, I went to book group. It was small, just me, A., and M. (the librarian). We read _Silas Marner_ this month (I read it today), which is gloriously short at around 200 pages with reasonable sized type. I must say, I feel like Eliot's sense of humor is wildly understated in most people who wax on about the book. The narrator has a very catty -- even bitchy -- tone at times. But beyond that, the plot machinations are so contrived to present clear cut decisions that lead to redemption or damnation that one wonders if the author is winking at one. Nothing so broad as _The Princess Bride_ but along those lines.

Spoilers!

For example, Godfrey has all kinds of opportunities to admit that he is married, but instead of doing so (really, is that a _hard_ thing to do?), and worse, admitting that he also has a baby daughter, he persists in hoping that the two people (wife and brother) who are blackmailing him over his failure to tell anyone else about this will somehow magically stop bothering him. Well, they do! And someone even rescues his daughter without him even having to admit to having a daughter! In the neighborhood, so he gets to watch her grow up without even lifting a finger! So much nicer than her winding up in the workhouse. The thing is, the brother dies almost immediately after killing the horse he was supposed to sell for Godfrey and then stealing Silas' hoard of gold coins. Dunstan -- the brother -- has a couple opportunities to meet a very minimum bar of human decency (sell horse, not kill it; NOT commit grand theft/burglary), fails both and then dies ... saving Godfrey from having to himself behave well.

That is some churning plot machinery!

Meanwhile, Molly is carrying her daughter through a snowy night to Reveal All, but leaves late and apparently in a drugged stupor and dies in the cold. Again, all she had to do was get to the Red House and tell her tale and all kinds of things would have gone better for her and worse for Godfrey, but she can't manage it. The kid is fine, however, and the kid landing in Silas' home presents another choice / opportunity for redemption which of course Silas takes.

If someone told me this story as a _real_ thing that happened, I would just assume that Godfrey -- or possibly Nancy -- was actually a serial murderer, and Molly and Dunstan's unlucky deaths were in fact not due to Chance at all.

I should add, Silas having been an anabaptist (adult baptism was all he was familiar with) and having something like epilepsy really made him feel like My Kind of People, which may have made me love the book more than I otherwise would have. Plus, being depressed / alone and throwing oneself into one's work and piling up cash is a coping strategy I can totally relate to.

Oh well!

It's a romp of a read, for all that the choice / Chance / redemption / Providence is a bit over the top. If I'd known this years ago, I'd have happily read it then -- it doesn't deserve its reputation for dullness.

Totally loved Priscilla of course, and hope some day she finds her Mr Have Your Own Way. Or not -- because Dear Old Dad seemed pretty awesome, too.

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