on April 14, 2002
....and the reason I thought it was pretty sad is that I can see why the poor girl is so self-conscious and feels so inferior. Her life is one continuous struggle in which she receives practically no assistance from anyone. Her husband is actually the worst of everybody for neglecting her! I say that because he never seems to be around for her, never seems to notice her feelings, and the only way she overcomes her inferiority (at the very end of the book) is by reading- reading, mind you, because he scarcely talks to her- one of his sermons. Without much support from Austin, Anna has to do everything for herself. They are extremely poor and out in the middle of nowhere, so you will see how, out of necessity, Anna invents the down jacket and padded diapers, and patches Austin's shirts with flour sacks. The missionary society who is supposed to help the couple is also pretty dumb, because they send Anna a barrelful of fancy summer clothes in winter. These just a couple examples of the incompetency of everybody around Anna. I think the problem is that Janette Oke overworks the fact that the missionaries are poor, until Anna's life seems absurd. I felt sorry for Anna and annoyed at Austin the whole time for not doing anything to help her out, so I don't consider this a very uplifting book. I think the only value in it is that people who are sad can read it and then feel better about their own woes because Anna has everything so much harder.