This morning I was writing information in my book journal about the latest book I had just finished. Last night I stayed up a little later than I should have to get through Mother in the Middle: A Biologist's Story of Caring for Parent and Child by Sybil Lockhart. I thoroughly enjoyed her memoir, but chuckled to myself when I entered the name, author and number of pages in her book into my book journal. Directly above that entry was the book Dramarama by E. Lockhart with the exact samenumber of pages. Same author name? Same number of pages? I figured I must have not been paying attention very closely to the information. It is true, though. I read two books by a Lockhart in a row with the same number of pages. That seems to be where the similarities end.
Dramarama by E. Lockhart is a YA title centered around Sarah from Ohio. She loves all things theatre and when she and her best friend, Demi, who happens to be black and gay (and therefore has a hard time fitting in in the small town he is from) are accepted to a theatre camp for the summer their friendship is tested. Sarah, who goes by Sayde at camp, realizes that she doesn't really fit in there and also is not as talented as she would like. Demi, however, is completely at home and flourishing in this new environment. The two have a few arguments, trying to decide where each belongs. Lockhart also includes transcripts from some tapes the friends make of their conversations, recording things for posterity. This book received a starred review when it was published and I almost purchased it then. I enjoyed it, but had so many starts and stops in my reading that I had a hard time getting into it. As someone who enjoys musicals I appreciated the references to different shows like Cats. This was a quick read, one I would have definitely liked in high school.
Mother in the Middle: A Biologist's Story of Caring for Parent and Child by Sybil Lockhart is the other book I have been working on. Lockhart's story seems all too familiar to many: a professional woman quits her job to stay home with her children. In addition to that, she is caring for her aging mother who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Lockhart is a biologist so she includes information about what is happening to her mother on a scientific level as well. The writing is interesting and engaging and I felt as though Sybil and I could be friends. The challenges she faces are ones many can relate to. Not only does she write about her mother's illness, but also includes her challenges with mothering, her marriage and her struggles in her professional life. This was a wonderful memoir and I enjoyed every word.
I can't believe it's back to work already today. The weekend went so quickly. I did get to talk books with a friend on Saturday, so even though I didn't find a lot of time to actually read anything, I was at least talking about reading.