Frieda Harms was born into a farming family in Indian Territory in 1906. Widowed at thirty and left with three children in the midst of the Great Depression, she worked as a farmer, a railroad cook, a mill worker, and a nurse in four states. She died in 1983.
Sandra Scofield spent most of her childhood with her grandmother Frieda and remained close to her in adulthood. When Frieda died, Sandra received her Bible and boxes of her photographs, letters, and notes. For thirty years, Sandra dipped into that cache.
Sandra always sensed an undercurrent of hard feelings within her grandmother, but it was not until she sifted through Frieda’s belongings that she began to understand how much her life had demanded, and how much she had given. At the same time, questions in Sandra’s own history began to be answered, especially about the tug-of-war between her mother and grandmother. At last, in Mysteries of Love and Grief, Scofield wrestles with the meaning of her grandmother’s saga of labor and loss, trying to balance her need to understand with respect for Frieda’s mystery.
Expected publication: September 15th 2015
This story was repetitive. I wish it would have gone in chronological order because with it jumping around sporadically it ended up explaining the same facts multiple times. As well it sometimes used an entire chapter to copy an excerpt from another of her books, which felt like cheating to plagiarize your own work in a sense to fill space and once again repeat what you've already covered in other books. I was disappointed with how I thought this story was going to play out and how it was really structured.
The cover is misleading. It's not about an old love that lasted through time even though it does mention it with surface detail multiple times throughout the book. It feels like Sandra still wasn't quite ready to write this book because she is struggling as she writes to figure out why her grandmother was so negative. This was a bit depressing of a book with all the hate spewed between family and grudges and prides kept among themselves. I couldn't believe how many times each person in this family got married and divorced. It was hard to follow with it not being in chronological order as well as repeating facts.
This story seemed more focused on Sandra the child, instead of her grandmother because as you read you realize she still doesn't know much about her grandmother. I do enjoy the idea of her receiving this box full of history, but I wish the story was structured differently. I didn't enjoy that she called her grandmother Mommy, her mother, Mama, her aunt rightmama, and so on which just added to the confusion as well as trying to speak from different points of view saying her mom (meaning her actual mom), then speaking for her mother saying her mom (meaning the grandmother). It was hard to keep track. Lastly, the chapter titles were misleading. She would go through the entire chapter recounting the misfortune that happened then throw in the chapter title because it felt like she had to, but really the chapter had nothing to do with the subject topic.