As you may have guessed, it was an EXTREMELY busy weekend–kind of. Which means that we were mostly out of town and had several different things planned, but I still had time to finish a book.
Let me explain. On Friday evening my nephew got baptized in Davis County (about 45 minutes away)–by the way, our faith baptizes at 8 (or when you’re ready, if that comes later)–and so I packed up the kids and the car to stay the weekend before heading up that way. There was a sundae bar at my sister-in-law’s afterward, and then my girlies slept over at a cousin’s house while the boy played for a while before being caught for bed. This later than usual bedtime, combined with no nap the day before, resulted in his very first night terror at 2:45-ish Saturday morning (NOT ideal when sleeping in a house with two visiting-from-out-of-state families staying over, plus some extra cousins).
Have I mentioned that I hate dealing with night terrors? Because I really, really do.
Anyway, the next day I had a thing back in Salt Lake, and so my in-laws kept the boy while I went there and my hubby took the girlies to what turned out to be a very, very hot football game. We stayed with my in-laws again Saturday night, because on Sunday the dedication of the new Ogden Temple was broadcast (at three different times) in lieu of regular church, and since you have to be 8 to attend, we tended one nephew while my hubby’s brother went with their parents, and then they tended various underage grandchildren while the rest of us went to the next session. And then there was linner (lunch/dinner, of course!), and birthday cake and ice cream for my oldest niece on my hubby’s side, and then we hauled the kids and all of our stuff home to try to get them in bed on time and things (mostly) unpacked before the night got away from us. (It’ll be a close call, but we’re giving it our best shot.)
Anyway. You see where it was busy but I still had time? Football games are long, and I was back at my in-laws’ house with the boy by the time it actually started. We hung out all afternoon and early evening, and between that and the time I had after the kiddos were in bed, I got to finish John Boyne’s Stay Where You Are & Then Leave. (By the way, John Boyne is the Irish (noticed that after I started the book) author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which has been on my list for quite some time.)
I actually picked this one up because the title caught my eye, but I checked it out of the library because L. M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside gave me a lasting interest in WWI. (My 10th grade teacher helped me out with that, I have to say–it’s because of Mr. Bowes that I know, more or less, how WWI started and why.) And I have to say, I did really enjoy it. The writing style was completely different than what I was expecting, although interestingly similar to the style of the other Irish author of intermediate fiction that I’ve actually read. Once I got past the shift in expectations, though, I found the story and the characters engaging. There is one scene that seems rather far-fetched–what are the chances that a lower-middle-class 9-year-old would meet Prime Minister David Lloyd George and be in his company when the boy’s mother approaches him and speaks to him? Without being noticed by said mother?–but I’m inclined to be forgiving, maybe because you don’t see a lot of fiction about the First World War nowadays. Or perhaps it’s because the way the characters in the novel deal with shell-shock echoes, probably purposefully, the way the world is dealing with depression at the moment. (I believe I’ve mentioned that this is a personal issue for my family.) Either way, if WWI interests you, the book is absolutely worth picking up. (Although I warn you–reading the last third of a book on that topic just before bed might give you some less-than-cheerful dreams.)