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book review (sort of)

book review (sort of)

I’m hardly qualified to review this book since I’ve not finished it. Actually, not sure I’m even mid-way! But, it is so interesting and there is true enjoyment received from reading the pages. The Gentle Art of Domesticity is an odd book and that is said with much respect and appreciation. Let me explain.

The author shares quite eclectically {is that a word?} about what she calls the ‘gentle arts’ :: baking, knitting, gardening, & stitching among others. By eclectic I mean that she proclaims to be a bit of everything, not solely a knitter, photographer, etc. By the way, her photography is gorgeous. But this is not a cookbook {though there are some recipes}, or a book of patterns for knitting or quilting, or even instructions on how to photograph :: it’s very much a journal of this woman’s adventures in learning the gentle arts and a documentation of her experiences.

Ms. Brocket does have some reflections I find interesting. For example, a quote from the first chapter:

on speaking about her days in college….“The few who did dare to follow their artistic bent were seen as rebels and likely to come to no good. And this…was the 1970s, not the 1870s, but I cannot recall a single mention of the three Ms : Men, Marriage and Motherhood. No heed was paid to the fact that we were all women, most of us likely to have relationships with the opposite sex and make babies, and inhabit a domestic space of some sort. And yet, there we were, educated in the height of the second wave of the feminist movement, in collective denial about one immensely significant aspect of our future lives.”


She later talks of her bit of rejection of that mindset and the further embracing of her creative, domestic self and encourages this for all women, regardless of profession.

I appreciate her sharing that the book is not about domestication :: organizing, keeping the home neat & tidy, etc. While I whole-heartedly agree with order and a system for accomplishing household tasks, my thoughts echo the author’s in that the media, magazines, tv programs and the like are way too taken up with this area of domestic life. Just my two cents.

Not sure I would necessarily buy this book as a gift for another person unless I knew for sure their enjoyment of it would be guaranteed, but I was happy to receive it as a gift! I’m thrilled to find another soul who understands the topsy-turvy life of the never-ending pursuits of the ‘domestic butterfly’–flitting and floating from one project to the next!

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  • HomeGrown LifeSeptember 28, 2008 - 10:13 pm

    I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while and just can’t track it down at my library. Thanks for the lovely review!ReplyCancel

  • Fruitful VineSeptember 30, 2008 - 11:34 am

    Hi Daniele
    How are you and your family? I pray that all is well. Just stopped byto say hi.

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Daniele Evans