Saturday, December 05, 2009

Mama's Bank Account.

"You meet one of the nicest families imaginable; a family that should restore or reinforce your faith in human nature, and give you a great many chuckles in the bargain."
~Philadelphia Inquirer

Today, while at home trying to nurse my scratchy, hoarse, bass voice, I finished reading a delightful little book called Mama's Bank Account written by Kathryn Forbes. I picked this book up from a book exchange shelf at the gym. I'm always looking for books worth reading on that shelf, and this one captured my interest as I read the back cover:

There is no mother in fiction more resourceful, uncorruptible, and endearing than the Mama of these charming adventures about an immigrant Norwegian family living in San Francisco. It is Mama who knows how to deal with the doctor's avaricious wife when Papa needs an operation. It is Mama who finds recompense when the roomer leaves without paying the rent. It is Mama who discovers a way to keep her children from growing up afraid, with a mysterious bank account.

Sounded like the perfect light read I needed after finishing the whole Twilight series. (Yes, I finished Eclipse and Breaking Dawn several weeks ago. All before the opening of the movie New Moon. I told you... I got sucked in!) Plus, I'm in the middle of studying for finals and finishing final term papers and projects. I needed an easy, but enjoyable read to distract me every now and then. This was just the book.

Of course, the fact that this family lived in San Francisco and Mama truly loved the City helped capture and keep my interest. I could easily relate when they spoke of the cosmopolitan life they lived.

The story is told as a series of recollections through oldest daughter Katrin's eyes, but focuses on Mama's interactions with the family, friends, and neighbors. Mama is tough, determined, resourceful, proud yet humble, feisty, strong, loyal, loving, optimistic, and happy. She and Papa are good, honest, hard-working people determined to make a good life for themselves and their children in San Francisco in the 1920s. The story focuses on their simple aspirations and dreams, as well as their struggles and sorrows. Mama reminds us of the significance of living of good values and in essence, how your love of family can move you to do things you may have thought impossible. Optimistic even through hard times, Mama ends many of the chapters saying, "Is good. Is good."

The book has such a warm quality, that reminds you of the importance of family and the powerful effect good honest values can have on your life. Plus, Mama loves San Francisco. A woman after my own heart.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read this book many years ago, before I lived in SF. But I remember Mama and her resourceful ways. A very good read. Glad you found it and liked it, too.