Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Little Locksmith

This book was amazing. It's a memoir written by Katharine Butler Hathaway who was born in 1890 and lived in Salem, Massachusetts. She contracted spinal tuberculosis when she was 5 years old and had to be strapped to a board 24 hours a day until she was 15 to keep her spine straight so she wouldn't become what we would know as a hunchback, which is a word that is actually never used in the book, but referred to. The treatment worked and she could walk around normally, but she was still "deformed."

It's about her coming of age and her amazing acceptance of her situation and joy in life. It's very interesting because you can see her forming and changing her own opinions as she writes, and even including the thoughts and opinions that she recognizes later as being naive.

The setting for a lot of the book is Castine, Maine, where she buys a big house that no one would expect her to buy and fixes it up. But it's not much about home improvement. It's mostly about the people in her life during that time and a whole lot about the beauty she finds all around her in the world. It also has to do with her belief that because she didn't have a normal body she would never get to experience romantic love, and giving herself to her writing as a kind of substitute.

What I loved most about it was her uncrushable joy and love for life, though her circumstances were not ideal. She was intent on making her life a good one, even though her path wasn't ordinary.

I seriously could not recommend this book enough. And I found the epilogue especially amazing, so read all the way to the end if you get this one!

10 comments:

Jacque said...

I want to read it too. It sounds like my favorite kind of book.

Rachel Sue said...

Thanks for the recommendation. This sounds great.

julie said...

awesome, I need a new book to read!

*LaUrA* said...

I just came from another site where my friend gave this book 5 stars...then clicked on your blog and saw the same thing...I will definitely pick this one up!

Anne Marie said...

Sounds amazing. Thanks for the recommendation!

Carrie said...

Hmmm...I'll have to check it out! I'm looking for a book for my book club pick, so thanks! Have you read The Help by Kathryn Stockett? I loved it. You should read that one.

Meg said...

This sounds like a great read--glad I stumbled upon your blog! I'm recovering from surgery and will be essentially couch-bound for the next five weeks. This is definitely going on my list of books to pick up while I am on the mend (or at least, for someone else to pick up for me).

*MARY* said...

I don't think I could handle this book. I've been kind of emotional lately. I drove by a sign that said "Save a life, wear a helmut" the other day and couldn't stop crying.

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

I love hearing about books that are happy and make me want to be happier. Sounds like a good one!

Emily said...

I am always looking for new books to read. Right now I am too busy with required books but soon as I'm done I'll have to pick this up..thanks!