10-20-2008 08:28 AM
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
10-20-2008 08:39 AM
Amy had something special in her hometown, people who loved and cared about her. She was lucky many of us haven't known the warmth of a small town where for good or ill you're not a stranger. Home is a place you can go back to and be accepted no matter what's happening in the bigger world. I think that's why Amy always went home. It was a special warm place for her.
10-20-2008 09:24 AM
10-20-2008 10:40 AM
I agree with Donna. Going home is safe and secure and with Amy, most of her family is the town so it is indeed safe and comforting to be around those that you grew up with. I think it is pretty rare to have that. I grew up on a farm outside a small community. It has changed so much since I grew up there but several people have returned home to live and raise their families.
I don't think that life is for me to live in but I do look back fondly of the way it used to be.
10-20-2008 03:07 PM - edited 10-20-2008 03:09 PM
10-20-2008 03:16 PM
After I was 8, we moved so many times you would have thought the law was after us! So I never really had a hometown but I did take a trip back to that town when I was in high school, with my best friend. I wanted to see what it looked like a decade later. It was the same. What was interesting was trying to find all the old places was not as easy tho, because at 7 and 8 in a small town where you could wonder around by yourself because everyone watches out for you, you go everywhere walking! And that was rarely down only streets. You cut across yards, fields, down in creeks you shouldn't be in, all over the place and I did not think about that going back. I thought, if I could find where I would start my daily treks, wouldn't it be interesting to see if I could find my old ways around but I couldn't. In a car, on the roads made the whole town seem so much smaller and so much less interesting than it was to me as a child.
When you have no hometown such as those who have had towns where they have lots of families and memories, the saying "you can't go home again" really applies. But when you have close families and good memories as Amy did, that were tied to a place, I would think all roads lead home. I think, especially in times of stress or just tiredness of one's own everyday life, we want to go home, to that place where we remember love and special places and feelings, where people you know make special comfort foods for you that in your memory no one can compete with. It is a place to replenish oneself. I think too, its a place of innocence. When we are overcome with the adult world with all its complications, sometimes we just need to go back to our innocence. And when we are very very lucky.....that is home.
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
10-21-2008 01:23 AM
I think she kept going back home again because her roots are there. Everyone she loves and cares about, the people and places that made her who she is are all in Freeville. Her support system was there, and it is what she needed after her divorce to get a hold on life again. I don't know if she would have gone back if all of her Queens were no longer there. I think the pull was more the people than the place.
I love the idea of a small town. It seems so romantic in a way. Everything moves slower than it does in a big city. Of course, living in a small town means everyone knows your business and you have little privacy. It would be interesting to live in a small town after living in a big city my whole life.
She is too fond of books, and it has addled her brain. ~Louisa May Alcott
10-21-2008 08:35 AM
10-21-2008 10:15 AM
10-21-2008 10:57 AM
10-21-2008 11:06 AM
Freeville was the only place Amy felt at home. When she was there she could be herself and be content and happy. Home is where the heart is and she definitely had people she could lean on for advice and give her the love and support she needed during difficult times. I think she wanted Emily to be raised in the same warm loving environment she grew up in and have a place to call her hometown as well.
10-26-2008 03:09 AM
My impression after reading the book was that Amy went home because ultimately that is where she felt the safest and most accepted. She found success out in the world, but she found community and comfort in Freeville. Many of us don't have the experience of a hometown (talk to any military brat!) but I think the lesson she learned about her hometown is one we can all learn - figuring out where our community is and choosing it over less satisfying substitutes. That "hometown" can be a church community, a "family" of friends and neighbors, or even on "online" community of far-flung family members or people you only know by their sign-on name!
I think that's a very good point. Your community doesn't have to be the actual location you came from. It's the "family" and friends that you have chosen to surround youself with, that you turn to for help, that love you and protect you - it's what you make it. I am fortunate enough to live in the same small town that I and all of my family grew up in. But I didn't really appreciate it until I went away to college in a city. Luckily we have been able to support our family here but that's not always possible in small areas, especially in this day and age. Career opportunities can be more limited so it depends on what your needs are.
Amy has Freeville for her hometown. It's where all of her family is and where she finds comfort, love and security. But she also learns that just she and Emily are a family and wherever they are together, that is home as well. It may not be the way she expected it to be but that's their reality and they adapt very well.
10-30-2008 07:52 PM
I so agree with those who have said that you go home because that is where you are most comfortable.
When I retired I moved back to my home town, which used to be small but had grown a lot in 25 years. It's so interesting to see the changes, but also the things that have stayed the same.
11-11-2008 11:29 AM
You are all correct. I came home -- for frequent visits and then permanently, because this is where I'm from. This is where I know who I am.
I am sitting now in my little house on Main Street, about to head down the street to check in on my mother, which is something do each day. On the way I'll stop in at the post office, where Donna and Betsy will ask me how I am and how my mother is getting on. While there I'm likely to run into my aunt Millie, who seems to be on the same mailing schedule as I am.
I like the idea that this is where I am known. It's not the same as being a celebrity -- it's being around people who don't know or don't really care about the public portion of my life.
I know I'm fortunate to have a place to go to, but I've travelled a lot and have seen many places -- a certain block in Washington, a tree-lined square in London, a suburb, a working class town in New Jersey -- all of which qualify as "home" for anyone lucky enough to have people there who know and love them.
Those of us with little or no family can make our own families. And those of us without a hometown to go to can fashion and then cling to the community of our own making. This community of book lovers, for instance -- this is a community I value visiting.
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