Monday night, our reading circle met and we discussed A Stone Angel written by Canadian author Margaret Laurence in 1964.
Characters in small-town Ontario:
2. Hagar's Dad
3. Hagar's two brothers
4. Hagar's husband
5. Hagar's son John
6. Hagar's son Marvin
7. Hagar's daughter-in-law Doris
Can you guess that Hagar is the main character? And what a character she is. This is the story of elderly Hagar reflecting on her life (and aging body). Hagar is 'unregenerate'. New word for me:
Not reforming or showing repentance; obstinately wrong or bad.
This book is beautifully written and makes the reader think about goodness and badness in life in general and in relationships in particular. She's a kind of female Archie Bunker.
Hagar is a woman of another era but her voice is at once amusing and intelligent. This when talking about her daughter-in-law helping her to bed:
"How it irks me to have to take her hand, allow her to pull my dress over my head, undo my corsets and strip them off my, and have her see my blue veined swollen flesh and the hairy triangle that still proclaims with lunatic insistence a non-existent womanhood."As intelligent as she is though, Hagar has the emotional intelligence of a gnat as she charges through life not understanding what's up with everybody. Pride is her hubris and stubbornness her credo and she ends up a very lonely lady.
She reminds me a little of someone rather close to me...