Thanks to James I have been
reading a delightful book for the last couple of weeks. It's called
"The Brothers K" by David James Duncan. I took James up on an offer he
sent out on his blog. He offered a few books up for grabs and I asked
for one by the Japanese author, OE, and he sent me that book, a mix CD
and this book by Duncan. James said he sent the Duncan book because he
knew I was not afraid of a hulking family novel and it had baseball in
it. He was right, it's a sweeping family novel in the vein of "East of
Eden" with a mother who is overly religious instead of a prostitute.
I was reading the book at lunch and this passage stuck out. This paragraph describes why the extremely religous mother defends he daughter after the daughter commits what a crazed Sunday school teacher thinks is blasphemy while class was in session: "The mechanism of Mama's sudden loss of sympathy fascinates me. Had the Babcocks told her that all six of her kids were now irredeemable cult-worshippers who'd end up writhing eternally in hell, I know she wouldn't have batted an eye. Yet to hear her daughters accused of a simple lie was intolerable. "Ungodliness" in one's offspring is, after all, a lofty-sounding but essentially incomprehensible condition that leads one to reflect upon the terrible powers of Satan and the still greater powers of God. Whereas bald-faced lying is a tacky little crime that implies one has simply blown it as a parent."