Professional Caretaker

Quote

Amazon.com

I could picture Petra’s face, the self-mocking pout she puts on when she knows she’s being a brat. The trouble was, of course, I would come to her rescue. And she was banking on that. Growing up the way I did, my mother dying when I was in high school, my father forced to turn the house and meals over to me, I felt as though I’d been born old. I was tired of my own knee-jerk reaction. You’re in trouble? Say no more. V.I., the grumpy cousin, will bail you out! I wished I knew how to turn off that particular switch. I wondered for a moment if my whole detective practice was built on my private history of being an adolescent caretaker.

Body Work (V.I. Warshawski Novels) by Sara Paretsky

Strip Search Is Normal

Quote

Amazon.com

The bouncer was inspecting people’s bags and backpacks before letting them in. That was the only sign that something unusual had happened. No one protested—we’re all inured these days to being searched. Pretty soon, we’ll have to get undressed before we walk into our apartment buildings at night, and we’ll probably submit to that without a murmur.

Body Work (V.I. Warshawski Novels) by Sara Paretsky

Outside of Love

Quote

Amazon.com

“She and Max saw me to the elevator, their arms around each other. Riding down the elevator I felt both the assurance one gets from seeing others in love, and the pang of feeling separate from the world of lovers.”

Blacklist (V.I. Warshawski Novels) by Sara Paretsky

Blue-Collar Neighborhoods

Quote

Amazon.com

“It starts along Chicago’s smoky industrial corridor, passing old blue-collar neighborhoods that resemble the one where I grew up—tiny bungalows where women look old at forty and men work and eat themselves to early heart attacks.”

Blacklist (V.I. Warshawski Novels) by Sara Paretsky

High Price for Being Grand

Quote

Amazon.com

“We don’t give into our worries, cara,” she said. “That is for grand ladies, who can fancy themselves ill when their lover hasn’t written or the new dress is commonplace. We aren’t like that, self-indulgent. We do some job, like this, we do it well, we make the worries leave us alone.”

“I thought of my mother’s words on the worries of grand ladies. I was glad of the poverty I’d grown up in, glad of having to earn every dime I’d ever spent. You pay a high price for money, too high a price.”

Blacklist (V.I. Warshawski Novels) by Sara Paretsky

Don’t weep, Just Do

Quote

Amazon.com

“Don’t weep over yourself,” my mother had told me—I was eight or nine, and wrapped in misery because the girls I usually played with had gone to a birthday party I wasn’t invited to—“Do something.”

Blacklist (V.I. Warshawski Novels) by Sara Paretsky

Good Things and Bad People

Amazon.com

“I don’t think there’s a ledger of good and evil, this much good offsets that much evil. It’s just, oh, you know, there was that popular book a few years back, when bad things happen to good people, or whatever it was? That’s pie-in-the-sky stuff, to keep all us working stiffs from rising up in fury at the inequities in the world. No one ever writes about all the good things that happen to bad people, how the rich and powerful walk away from the messes they make, and people like me, like my neighbor, like my parents, pay for the clean-up.

Blacklist (V.I. Warshawski Novels) by Sara Paretsky

The book referenced in the above quote is When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner. It’s an excellent and book and I highly recommend it – as long as the original intention is clearly understood.

Amazon.com

When I read the book I was going through some particularly difficult times and my response echoed the above quote almost perfectly. I was having an internal grumble session over the things the popular press feeds the masses and why people devour them so readily when I happened to stumble across the introduction.

According to the introduction, Rabbi Kushner wrote the book with the intention of providing advice to other clergy who were struggling to help members of their faith get through tough times. Therefore, the intended audience is professional religious assisting others with difficult aspects of life’s journey. After making that connection, the book, as a whole, was far more appealing and much easier to digest.

Personally, I still struggle with the why do good things happen to bad people part of the equation (which is nicely expressed in the above quote), but this particular popular press text no longer feels like one of the many hands of oppression…uh…please excuse the borderline radical fire-starter language – it’s just a rather apt description of a feeling.

(C) Adora Myers 2014