Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Review: Steady and Trembling - Tom Montgomery Fate

Title: Steady and Trembling: Art, Faith, and Family in An Uncertain World
Author:  Tom Montgomery Fate
Pages:  122
Why I Read This Book: My Mom asked me to. She went and heard him give a book talk
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis From Me:
A series of essays on not only Faith, and Family, but also nature, and life both rural and suburban in which Tom encapsulates the emotions of his life and its purpose and relationship with the world, the natural world, over the course of the four changing seasons. Very reminiscent of his proclaimed guru Thoreau, Steady and Trembling more closely weaves the escapism of Walden with the necessity of the city while still holding out his hope for permanence someday in the utopia of his rural retreat. And how we, as a whole, should work to listen more to what the world, the earth, wants us to do and not so boldly declare what we think it needs to do for us.

My Review/Opinion:
I’m woefully at a loss for how I was left feeling about this little book. If you like or romanticized Walden in any way shape or form you will LOVE this book. If you see it as a tad indulgent and impractical, you may not feel quite as enamored with it.

The writing was wonderful throughout most of the essays. Fate wove quaint scenarios of the communal farm where he went to write. And he carved cold images of urban frustration from the gray buildings of Chicago, it’s spilt -spaghetti freeways and homogenization of home and hobby and humanity.

But I find there are days that I, too am torn between missing, with every fiber of my body, the life of the city and being so quaintly satisfied with my rural small town life I could just squeal! Usually I’m somewhere in between.

 Mostly because, unlike Fate, I don’t truly romanticize either of them as he does. He vilifies the city even with its culture and glorifies the country as noble statesmen of earths tending. Only the corporate influence corrupted any of these proud stewards. Something I don’t really always agree with because I don’t really see that.

 And see it I should because we both hail from the same small town he writes, with some poetic license I must add, about returning to for a nostalgic visit.

I got ahold of this book because my Mom had gone to a reading in our mutual home town; mine hers and Tom’s. And she was really very taken by him and his views on nature and life and our interaction between the two. I would have liked to gone too. He has another book out and yes I will be putting it on my TBR list. I am curious where all these musing are going. It’s like being able to watch someone think something through.

Nearing the end of the book I think things solidified and he voice rang much
truer and more spiritual. His Walden, after all, did include his love for his family, especially his adorable children and his musings on parenthood were eerily spot on.

And I will always and forever equate a spider hanging out in a web with a fuzzy coffee bean. And shiver just the same.

If you are an outdoors personality, I mean it, you need to read this book. It will charm your socks off I guarantee!

1 comment:

  1. Hello! You should check out my latest blog post. :) I think you'll find it interesting. (Not the hop. The one posted after it.)