I have been reading a book by one of our Old Women Who Write Facebook group members. Linda Crabtree wrote CMT and Me: An Intimate 75-Year Journey of Love, Loss and Refusal to Surrender to a Disabling Disease. That title is a heck of a mouthful.
I have been thinking for days about what to say about this book. First, let me be clear that it is wonderful. When I got the book, I expected to read a tale of hardship and woe. It is not that. Linda writes her story in a clear-headed, clear-minded, matter-of-fact way. She has been severely physically challenged since childhood, yet not a drop of self-pity or victimhood stains this narrative. She is a woman who has lived life fully, with work, travel, love affairs, marriages, and education. She created an international awareness and support for this physical disability that made her life challenging.
After the first chapters, I thought I probably would lose interest. The fact is, I did not. I am about two-thirds of the way through and will read it completely. I don’t know how to name, or label, Linda’s style of writing. It is unfussy, like she is. It is direct, like she is. It is illuminating, like I suspect she is. Linda inspires without even intending to inspire.
Given the title, I think the potential audience for Linda’s book is limited, but I wish it weren’t.
I highly recommend this book to you all.
A follower of Old Women Who Write alerted me to this book. Forty-three women from the same high school class, all now in their 70s, have created an anthology of tales from their lives. This is so exciting! I can’t wait to read it.
Jumping the Queue, Mary Wesley
I discovered Mary Wesley from the article titled ‘20 Debut Works of Fiction by Women Over 40’ by Jenny Blatt.
Spur of Light, Tonie Ritchie
Tonie Ritchie completed her first novel this year, at age 97. The novel, Spur of Light, was begun after attending a creative writing course on the Scottish island of Iona in 2002, but lay unfinished for many years until Tonie’s eldest daughter encouraged her to finish it. And she has completed the task. Is it a good novel? I don’t yet know. I just began it. Whether or not it is to my taste, I am amazed and impressed that this 97-year-old woman has written and published a novel. Hurray for Ms. Ritchie. I am trying to reach her and possibly interview her for this blog. Wouldn’t that be great?