Archive for the ‘“My Father’s House”’ Tag

Kristin Hannah, The Four Winds. Theme: the present. Location: the past   4 comments

An excellent novel makes one think, and think I did as I read this one. The story covers the early period of my life – the great depression. and how different My Father’s House was from what Elsa and her family experienced. While my mother fed the hoboes who came in from the street, and the town provided some part-time jobs for them, Elsa encountered cruel mistreatment from the “good” people who defined the sufferers as lazy, dirty, illness purveyors ruining the economy of their small town. One suspects that the “good” people of my town would have been no kinder had the number of migrants been larger. In my innocent, fortunate childhood I experienced no destruction of Hooverville’s, the temporary “homes” of the dispossessed. But I can’t fail to see the same things happening today in only slightly different circumstances

Enough of what the story activated in my private awareness. What about the writing. This is a long novel, as so many are recently. And I wondered whether, if I’d been an editor, I would have recommended eliminating some of the “unnecessary” detail. Why so many words to convey the basic impression of land and dreams literally blown away in the wind, of lives lived in day-to-day misery, of friendships and kindnesses, of familial love buried in the rules of propriety, of gender restrictions. By the end of the book, I realized how important all the details were as I experienced the frustration of day after day of hope followed by disaster – of disaster followed by hope. I felt the frustration, the suppressed anger, the cruelty, the love.

And, to return to my original point. To recognize that this is the story of today, wearing different details, but still the same.

I confess it took me a bit to get caught up in the story, but once I did I couldn’t put it down. That’s what I don’t like about a good novel. It interferes with my sleep. But I thank Kristin Hannah for the experience. Obviously this is a book many have read and recommended. Now I’m joining the parade.

LINK TO TWO NEWSPAPER ARTICLES   Leave a comment

My really sharp and clever web creator/improver, Hugh Gower of Nimbus studios, just added a link on my web site, https://forgivenessoptions.com, that will take you to excerpts from the two recent articles about my books. Just click on the photo of “My Father’s House” and you’ll find it.

And you’ll find Hugh at 877-870-0412 or https://www.hugh@nimbusstudios.com

Remember, reviews of my books are always treasured, both on amazon and right there on my web site.

GREAT ARTICLE ABOUT “MY FATHER’S HOUSE”   20 comments

I’m thrilled to provide a link to this great article The Bristol Press did about My Father’s House. That’s my home town paper where I grew up in Forestville/Bristol Connecticut. The only problem is they included my full name as author, but the only way to find it is via Mona Gustafson — period. Swedish, you know.

The Bristol Press – Forestville native pens book about what life was like in the city from 1910 through the 1970s

 

WHY BOTHER   4 comments

FYI. The list price for My Father’s House is $18.99. My royalty after everyone gets their slice is $0.45. (Unless, of course, it’s purchased directly from me.)

My son points out that’s about the percentage the farmer gets who produces the food in the first place. Food for thought — pun recognized.

Still I write — because I want to. And I want people to read what I write. What better reason? (And yes, reviews are worth at least as much as money.)

Posted June 7, 2021 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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EVOKING MEMORIES OF MY OWN UPBRINGING   3 comments

I enjoyed reading this book aloud with my friend whose vision is limited by Macular degeneration. It evoked many memories of my own upbringing as I recognized similar personalities in my family, bringing back happy and sad events and circumstances. Doesn’t every family have them! 

I appreciated Mona’s on-going descriptions of what was taking place in world events starting with WW !, immigration, the Great Depression (I heard a lot about that from my own grandparents and parents!), re-building the Nation, Pearl Harbor, WW II, The Korean Conflict, crystal sets, radio, air flights, etc During the reading of this book I found myself looking back at so many past memories of my life and being grateful for the wonderful, loving family into which I was born.

I wondered whether the author’s selection of psychology as her life career reflected her upbringing and family’s trials and tribulations? It was so sad and frustrating to see Jennie’s decline even as we witnessed her husband’s sustained adoration and love of his wife during these difficult times.

This was not a particularly uplifting book but an honest and comprehensive description of a loving, ambitious and talented immigrant who conquered the many challenges presented him in order to become the successful, respected and loved man that he was. His love for God, his community and his family is evident.

Congratulations to Mona for publication of this story that has obviously been a “work in progress” for many years. It is a wonderful and complete tale of “My Father’s House.” As for the author’s style, I enjoyed reading the minute details and highly descriptive passages. Some readers, however, might not appreciate this style.

This review can be found on my web site

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A NORWEGIAN REVIEW OF “MY FATHER’S HOUSE.”   4 comments

This review can also be found on my web site forgivenessoptions.com

I see this as a block buster movie

At the end of the book, I thought that if Metro Golden Meyer hooked this, it would be a block buster. The characters are lovingly and distinctly portrayed with all their strengths and foibles, and their development through times of war, depression and into the seventies. I grew fond of  Father Carl – born in 1880 and emigrating from Sweden  1910.

For this Norwegian reviewer it was overwhelming to try to remember all the names of the characters – but still I found myself  reading in bed at 04 am, wondering about how Jennie and the family would cope with her “sensibilities” – I will not tell  the readers how that went. Among the clear descriptions of life in these times,It was such a clear and loving tale of how too much consideration can devastate a persons life. “Let’s not borrow trouble” was the fathers adage, it seems the family adapted it too – as we humans do, with grave consequences.

 Mona’s professorate  in Psychology and her interventions created a strong and dramatic change in the family –  the last chapters were a great eye-opener of what happens when the cat in the sac gets out – and the fresh new air pours in.

4 stars – reflecting the bit overwhelming number of names and relationships.

I feel well fed after reading it.

Leelah Saachi

And grateful;

Writer

I SEE THIS AS A BLOCK BLUSTER MOVIEAt the end of the book, I thought that if Metro Golden Meyer hooked this, it would be a block buster. The characters are lovingly and distinctly portrayed with all their strengths and foibles, and their development through times of war, depression and into the seventies. I grew fond of  Father Carl – born in 1880 and emigrating from Sweden  1910as a block buster movie

LOST REVIEWS FOR “MY FATHER’S HOUSE?”   1 comment

At last count of reviews of “My Father’s House” I found five more “ratings” than there are reviews on amazon.com. Somehow I doubt that five people would have bothered to rate without writing a review. Knowing that the accepting/rejecting algorythms operate in mysterious ways, I suspect some of the lonely “ratings” went with reviews that never got published. I know of one person who tried three times to get hers posted. The third time was the magic. But she was never notified that her first two had not been accepted. Obviously I treasure any reviews, so here’s my question. Did any of you write one that you don’t see posted? If so, I’d be most happy if you would keep trying

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Posted November 30, 2020 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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I think my next book’s title will be “I am a dinosaur.”   2 comments

I just finished writing a review for Ijeoma Oluo’s “So You Want to Talk About Race.” Here it is.

Having read a plethora of books as a member of our “BLM Ally” group I didn’t expect another one could add much. But I was wrong. It was probably the chapters organization that made the difference, but I left it with my heart hurting and my mind brimming. And there were the specific lists – almost “to-do” — that helped as we search for actions we can take while we are confined by COVID-19 restrictions. No matter what reading you have already worked through you’ll find help presented here in an attractive writing style.

So what does that have to do with dinosaurs? Me — and my career.

In the process of writing — and editing a zillion times — My Father’s House, I have come to appreciate that I did lead a privileged life. I confess, I didn’t know it. I was too busy living it. I do remember being upset in High School when I read about Senator Bilbo, though, described in Wikipedia as “a filibusterer whose name was synonymous with white supremacy.” I wish I had saved the essay I wrote.

But that doesn’t make me a dinosaur. It’s my career that did that. I spent years teaching developmental and personality psychology. Now I’d have to rewrite the syllabus, realizing that it was all about white, probably Northern European folks. And the psychology of women? Not only did it not even include women of the top 1%, it also wasn’t about women of any color other than pale white.

Okay, that’s all you get. I’ll save the rest for later. But I hope you get the gist.

No, I don’t feel guilty. Just more aware and motivated.

 

I’VE CONNECTED WITH THE NEW OWNERS OF MY FATHER’S HOUSE   8 comments

How exciting is that! First of all, what a blessing to have lived in the same house from the time I was born until I left for college, graduate school, and early career. Only marriage made the break official. And now, having published “My Father’s House,” I’ve been in contact with the current owners. The photos they’ve provided show me the place is even more beautiful in its modern version. I’m thrilled.

Maybe you’d like to take another look at it on the cover of the book

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Posted October 19, 2020 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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A BETTER PHOTO OF THE TURSAS CHURCH   3 comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wish this photo had been available to me when I inserted the Torsas church into my book.

Thanks to James Carros, a Bristol, Connecticut person whose family, like mine, hails from Torsas. It’s a much better photo of the church than the one I found for

e.”

 

Posted September 14, 2020 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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