Not the Uncle Tom you know...

You may or may not know this, but I love to read, especially in bed before falling asleep, or in the afternoon in the sun with a cuppa to sip. In the last 5 years I've stuck almost exclusively to non-fiction. My interest in non-fiction was awakened in college because even though I took a variety of writing classes, non-fiction writing was my favorite. I just couldn't muster up any interesting stories out of thin air to be a decent fiction writer. But as I read more stories that actually happened I realized, I can do this. I can research and weave and re-create something that has already happened in an interesting way. Or so I'd like to think.

But this is not really the point. The point is this: I like to read and somehow, in my 30 or so years of reading I NEVER READ UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. Maybe I should have put that in smaller font. It's not something to brag about, really. Especially for someone who loves books.  But there it is, out in the semi-forever world of the internet.

While we were in the States I received a Kindle and it has changed my reading life and Cassidy's school life. It is an answer to prayer, seeing as English books are usually found in uncategorized bins and "real" books cost money, take up space and would weigh down a suitcase. So I looked up the free classics available on Kindle and Uncle Tom's Cabin was at the top of the list.


It may be over 150 years old, but it is a powerful, insightful, deeply emotional book. I highlighted so many parts (and conveniently placed in a tab called "My Clippings") and there are many excerpts I could share with you.  I can't remember the last time I cried and smiled this much over a piece of "fiction." Harriet Beecher Stowe stepped out boldly with this work, and I must repeat myself: READ THIS BOOK.

There is one section in particular, which draws the reader's heart deeper into the story, that reminds me of the Holocaust books I read after the boys left Earth. It hurt and comforted at the same time. So, because I feel it is a powerful passage, I will not say anything else about it. Perhaps it will mean something to you, perhaps it won't. But if you've gained nothing else out of this post, I hope you will feel compelled to consider reading this book. You can get it free on Kindle or at your library. Or probably at a lot of second-hand stores. Read it.


Has there ever been a child like Eva? Yes, there have been; but their names are always on grave-stones, and their sweet smiles, their heavenly eyes, their singular words and ways, are among the buried treasures of yearning hearts. In how many families do you hear the legend that all the goodness and graces of the living are nothing to the peculiar charms of one who is not. It is as if heaven had an especial band of angels, whose office it was to sojourn for a season here, and endear to them the wayward human heart, that they might bear it upward with them in their homeward flight. When you see that deep, spiritual light in the eye, -- when the little soul reveals itself in words sweeter and wiser than the ordinary words of children, -- hope not to retain that child; for the seal of heaven is on it, and the light of immortality looks out from its eyes.