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Comments for Fighting Angel
Fighting Angel: 01/25/07
Pearl S. Buck was the daughter of a Southern Presbyterian missionary. Though she was born in the United States, she grew up in China. Fighting Angel is her biography and memoir of her father Absalom Sydenstricker (or Andrew as he's called in the book). The book is written with Buck's usual straightforward approach of weaving simple words together into fully realized worlds.
Her memoir though is written without warmth. Though she refers to herself sometimes in the first person, she calls her parents by their first names (Carie and Andrew). I don't know if these names were their actual nicknames or if she altered them slightly on purpose. She also sometimes refers to herself as Comfort (her middle name) making it seem as if she is speaking of a different person.
The portrait she paints of her father isn't complimentary. She focuses on his religious zeal for saving souls but repeated notes that he only believed a certain subset of humankind had souls worth saving (namely men of certain means). She goes on to describe how her father hated women, hated the rich, hated fat people, hated most of his family and so forth. Yet somehow she seems to expect her readers to respect this man that was her father!
While I enjoyed her style of writing I came away not feeling I knew her any better and knowing that if I had met her father I'd have to restrain myself from punching him in the nose. I am glad I read the book but it isn't a book I would want to reread.
I Need Sleep:
I went to bed past my bedtime last night. The temperature dropped and I spent an hour or so shivering. Just as I had fallen asleep (though not comfortably) Ian woke me up to say that Harriet was crying. He also told me that Sean had been up earlier with a nightmare. Anyway, I knew I wouldn't be getting back to sleep. Once Harriet is up, she's up for good.
So Harriet and I went upstairs and settled into my chair under a pair of blankets. She nursed and I dozed until about five in the morning. At six after having been with Harriet for three hours, I took her downstairs to switch off with Ian. I needed to get some real sleep for an hour and twenty minutes before I had to log in for my morning publishing for work.
By three in the afternoon Harriet started to act understandably tired. By three thirty I started her bed time routine hoping she'd go down for the night. She loved the idea of taking a bath (but then she loves bathing) and of getting into her jammies. She even fell asleep in my arms while nursing but as soon as I put her in her crib she started to scream.
We brought her upstairs for a bottle and more nursing. She stayed up for another hour and a half and fell asleep again as the sun started to set. Again I put her in her crib and again she cried. She eventually cried herself to sleep (something we don't normally do with her) but when Sean went to bed at nine, she was apparently wide awake.
Please send sleepy vibes her way!