Friday, October 05, 2012
Reader's Diary #876- Susanna Moodie: Roughing it in the Bush
Roughing it in the Bush tells the true trials and tribulations of a British woman and her husband who have settled in Canada in the 1830s. Quickly learning that the paradise they'd been promised must still be earned, Moodie sets out to educate future settlers on what they can actually expect.
I've no doubt that such a move at such a time would not have been easy, and I certainly wouldn't have coped any better than Moodie, but she's still not an entirely likeable or even sympathetic character. Quite hypocritical and condescending, even when she supposedly learns the error of her ways and condemns others for not having learned similar lessons, she still has a ways to go. It's hard, for example, to believe that she ever really understood the poverty she claims to have endured, when she always seems to have a servant girl employed.
But still there are enough adventures involving fire, disease, pesky Americans and so forth to keep it interesting. The aliens? Here's the thing. I read Roughing it in the Bush while on my elliptical and I've recently discovered that I work out best to EDM. Such music makes for a strange pairing with the story of an uptight 19th century British woman in the backwoods of Canada. Maybe it was this weird mash-up that got my creative juices flowing, or maybe it was the lack of oxygen in my brain, but I became somewhat fixated on the frequent and usually unexplained absences of her husband. So I filled in the blanks. He was off hunting vampires! No, too 2009. Zombies? No, too 2011. Wait, aliens are due for a comeback! He was off ridding the new Canadian frontier from aliens! Aliens who made their way to Earth via a portal near an overturned maple tree (it is Canada after all) and who found the environment too harsh for their own bodies so they had to take over the bodies and minds of the locals! Suddenly all the eccentric or unsavory characters were potential aliens.
Okay, if you've ever read the book, you know that last part didn't happen. But trust me, it'd make it a hell of a lot more interesting .