When Mischief Came To Town
"I do not know how to feel.
Does belonging here, with Grandmother, mean that I no longer
Back when my children were really young a woman moved into a
trailer down the street. She'd been sure that when her daughter grew
up her child raising days were over. She was wrong. She was far from
the only one unexpectedly thrown back into a world of play dates,
homework supervision, and pediatric emergencies. Parenting grands is
a fast growing demographic segment, especially with drug abuse on the
rise. Even in the past, however, grandparents became custodians of
grandchildren. Katrina Nannestad's When Mischief Came To Town tells
the story of one such pairing.
When we first meet Inge Maria she is a study in misery, squished
between a box of turkeys and the goat that has eaten some of her hair,
on a rolling ship. The year is 1911. She is enroute from
sophisticated Copenhagen to the island of Bornholm to live with a
grandmother she has never met.
Inge Maria's grandmother seems grouchy and strict. Her social
circle seems to consist of three equally aged and boring women, her
daily routine revolving around domestic chores and the care of
barnyard animals. At school children must silently copy spelling
words and only boys are allowed to play actively during recess.
Will Inge Maria ever feel at home in such a bleak place? If she
does find happiness, does this mean she is being disloyal to her dead
Read the book and see!
On a personal note, my youngest child is about to move to his first
apartment. Even though this is good and normal, the prospect of an
offspringless house feels bleak and desolate. Will this place ever
again feel like home? At the same time, if I can find happiness will
that make me disloyal to my memories of those beautiful younger years?
A great big shout out goes out to grandparents back in the parenting
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