Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Break and a book review

We're on the second day of spring break and it feels like it's been a week already. A "staycation" sounds like a cool idea, but in reality it's just trying to put some fun into saying, we're staying home because it's cheaper and Dad doesn't have to take vacation time!

Yesterday, the kids both went to see movies with a friend, and I hung out at Border's, so it was a good afternoon for all of us. I picked up a new book, Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee, and am just loving it. It's one of those books that I don't want to end, so I'm savoring the last few chapters. The story is a young woman's memoir. Kim Sunee was adopted at the age of three, after she was found abandoned in a Korean marketplace. She grows up with her adopted family in Georgia, and at the age of 18 leaves home to study in Europe. In her quest to find out where "home" is, she remains in Europe for ten years, at times traveling to Korea, the Pacific Rim and back to Georgia.

Kim's search for her identity is so intriguing to me. Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun, calls it the "exile's curse and the exile's charmed life." Kim and I couldn't be more different. She is less than half my age. I know exactly where I came from -- New Jersey. I am steeped in family tradition. And I'm tall like my dad, have my mom's skin that tans easily, and similar facial features as my aunt. But, what would it be like to not have a clue to your heritage? Who would I become? She is told that she is Korean, but many of the Korean people she meets tell her she must be something else, too, because her features are very different from theirs.

I love the setting of Provence and the recipes that are included at the end of each chapter. The kitchen is a place where she first glimpses an identity for herself. Eventually, Kim becomes the founding editor of Cottage Living, and is currently the host of a food show called Local Flavor, which I have not seen. I'll have to look it up.

So, getting back to spring break. I told the kids they needed to find something to do on their own today. Em had a friend over and they went for a walk through our neighborhood which is truly a maze of streets and cul-de-sacs. It was a beautiful day and they were perfectly safe, so when they called to say, "we're lost", I said, "which way is the sun, where are the mountains, you'll find your way." They eventually found their way home and you would think they had been hiking for miles the way they gobbled down the chocolate chip cookies I made.

We're still waiting for the cold, wet weather that was supposed to arrive this week. Maybe on Thursday. I hope we get something, as my tulips need a bit of encouragement.


Sharon said...

Thank you for the tantalizing book review...I may have to use my Amazon gift certificate on this one...Blessings on your week,

Becky said...

I love a good book and totally appreciate a good book review so I can write it on the top of my lost list. Thanks for that!!

Sarah said...

Hi Karen,

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoyed yours and will look forward to stopping back again. The book you described sounds very interesting. I will have to take a look at it!

Hope you have a great day!


Jen said...

The book sounds great...yet I dont read..you know that. But getting to hang out by your self is cool. Miller is still sick..and today is my day to run...doesnt look real hopeful.
Hoping the rest of your spring Break is great.

gail@more than a song said...

An afternoon at Borders sounds fun and great book review, sounds interesting! I would gobble up chocolate chip cookies too. It's gotten cool, rainy and cloudy here; it wouldn't be for y'all but 50's here in March is cool.
Enjoy the spring break week!

Susanne said...

The book sounds very good. I'll have to look for it. An afternoon in the book store sounds like heaven!

Renna said...

The book sounds fascinating, Karen. I was already intrigued by your excellent review, then made even more so upon discovering the book is a true story!

Joanne said...

Now that is a perfect example of "Home Sweet Home" ... Chocolate chip cookies waiting for you after finding your way home!