Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In My Hands by Irene Opdyke

This month's gathering marked a first for me:  it was the first time I hadn't read the book.  (Shame on me!)  In my defense, I honestly thought I was going to miss the meeting.  I loaned my copy out to one of the other girls.  I made arrangements for us to meet at Panera Bread instead of our normal living room.  I was resigned to my fate. And then my hindrance dissapeared and I happily joined everyone for the discussion. All I have to say is this: Thank goodness that this book was based on a real life!  I was able to do some research on the real facts of Irene Opdyke's life (the truth really is better than fiction), and I was able to engage in the conversation.

What a woman!  Her story gave us so much to talk about.  How much a person can change in 5 years.  How some people become heroes and legends by simply responding to the situations in front of them.  It could be said that all Irene did was rise to the opportunity.  But we talked about how there are thinkers, and there are doers.  Some people would have weighed and pondered and re-weighed every consequence.  Irene just looked at things and said, "this is what I can do." 

We talked about hard choices.  About how sometimes people are forced into supporting a system they don't agree with.  How does a person deal with that?  Respond to it?  Fight the system even while 'supporting' it? 

One of our amusing side conversations was on languages.  Irene knew a few, and her friend (fiance was it?) knew several more.  Most of us were lamenting that we are still fighting to learn a second.  But then we decided to divide up the globe, so no matter where we travel someone will know the local tongue.  (Krisitn has Spanish and she'll have to take Portuguese for the team, Erinn has Russian, Mandie has German, I'm all about Arabic and Hindi....).  How is this a bad plan?

I'm looking forward to actually finishing this book.  From what I understand, this book is very easy to read.  It's inspiring.  It's true.  And it's worth keeping around.  It was a delightful way to end our WWII theme on a hopeful note, and we highly recommend this book to others.

Up Next:  The Help by Kathryn Stockett