Monday, December 9, 2013

A Farewell to Arms: 100% Complete

I raced through A Farewell to Arms in about 36 hours.  I really enjoyed it, even though it has a sad ending (I'm actually kind of glad I knew the ending before I started it because I was prepared!).  Be warned, however, this blog post contains some spoilers, so if you haven't read it and spoilers bother you, don't read ahead!
About halfway through the book, Catherine becomes pregnant.  Then she proceeds to drink alcohol throughout the rest of the pregnancy.  Now I realize they didn't know as much about fetal alcohol syndrome and I also realize that in some parts of the world the admonition of women not to drink when pregnant is not so strictly maintained as it is in the US, but it still made me cringe every time.  Case in point:
"'Don't we have a fine time?' Catherine asked. 'Look. Let's go some place and have beer instead of tea. It's very good for young Catherine [the baby].  It keeps her small.'
'Young Catherine,' I said. 'That loafer.'
'She's been very good,' Catherine said. 'She makes very little trouble. The doctor said beer is good for her and keeps her small.'"
The nurse in me was thinking, "It keeps her small, alright.  They call that low birth weight and it's NOT a good thing!"
The vocabulary word for the day is "puttee" which means "a long strip of cloth wound spirally around the leg from ankle to knee for protection and support" (definition from the New Oxford American Dictionary).
So now I have to decide what book I want to read next.  For today, you can vote for the book you think I should read next on poll on the right hand side of the page.  I'll let you know how the poll turns out in a couple of days!

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