Monday, January 11, 2010
Great Moments in Fabric Literature, Vol VI
Olaf had been given ten yards of navy-blue silk foulard by a goods salesman. While he was trying to decide how to give it to one or the other of his wives (or cut it in half and give them each five yards) they both found out about it. They both wanted it. They decided it was the most beautiful piece of material they had ever seen in their whole entire lives. Sigrid was going to make it up with a bustle and Linnea was going to make it up with a tight basque and a Francine skirt looped up the middle.
Finally Olaf, in torment, asked Linnea if she would be willing to flip a coin or draws straws with Sigrid for the yardage. Linnea said she would be glad to. He asked Sigrid the same thing and she went on one of her famous crying sprees that lasted three days and three nights. Olaf got so nervous and distraught that he gave the silk to Sigrid and she carried it home from the shop and hardly got in the house before she cut it out. That was two years ago, but Linnea could not hear the mention of dark-blue foulard without feeling like a female Guy Fawkes.
Ardyth Kennelly, The Peaceable Kingdom, page 74
This book is difficult to find, but it is one of my favorites. I read it first when I was a teenager, and recently re-read it as part of my fabric in literature project. I loved it even more when I re-read it this time.
(As a digression, have you noticed that there are two types of readers? One kind never reads a book twice, and the other kind will read their favorites many times.
The One Time Only Readers just cannot understand why anyone would read the same book twice. The Multiple Readings people regard re-reading a favorite book like visiting with a old friend.)
This is an old fashioned novel, with strong characters and interesting details about life in early Utah, just before it entered the Union. It will also make you appreciate how much work women did then to run a household and get food on the table.
Artwork above, The Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks