When I read about the subject of this novel (Fiction Published 1978) I just had to read it. No copy in the library but a 1p copy was available from Amazon.
From the book jacket....................
Abra has left a husband, children and suburban security to live in an isolated cabin (In a Canadian forest) without mirrors, clocks or human contact.As time has passed her senses have sharpened, her muscles hardened and she has achieved the inner peace and strength which has always eluded her in the past.
But when Kate her daughter tracks her down 9 years later, Abra is forced to account for her actions and dramatically re-evaluates her life.
Did she have some sort of breakdown? is she ill or is she now well?
Surely most mothers/wives have thought about vanishing? Or is it just me. The responsibilities of childcare, housekeeping, managing can be totally overwhelming.There are just so many things to worry about, then turn on the TV and the whole worlds problems can provide another set of worries.
I once had to give up a discussion group because the other mums wanted to take turns in caring for the children away from the group. I couldn't do it - yet there I was......A good Cub Scout Leader managing 20+ 8 - 11 year old boys every week but the thought of looking after a group of half a dozen 1 - 4 year olds filled me with terror. I felt I was walking a tightrope with our own two children under 2 years old..............one false move and I would fall into an abyss.
When I explained Gaining Ground to Colin he said it sounded like something I might do and the children have often told me that I'm turning into a hermit! But I do like being at home, people talking about cabin-fever due to the snow? No idea what it is - especially this time of year. If there is no need to go out - it suits me fine!
I can happily go to WI and socialise for a couple of hours but I don't need crowds of friends coming round - even having family here can sometimes get me in a panic. I couldn't be a perfect Nanna and look after grandchildren full time. At the moment I'd struggle for just a few hours although when they are older I'm sure it will be easier. Col's Mum was a born baby minder, she was a nanny for a few years before she married and Colin arrived. She looked after our children one afternoon every week which was a godsend to me - she was also in her late 40's when our children were under 3 whereas I'm in my early 60s and feeling it too sometimes!
This book describes perfectly how you can't really make somebody into someone else. Everyone is an individual. If you make someone do something they can't do does it make them selfish for not trying or you selfish for thinking they ought to try?
One of the Amazon reviews of this book said "every year or so I need to read it again". I think that's how I feel - a book to keep and read again.
Thanks for comments yesterday.