Book Review: The Gentle Art of Domesticity

The last three weeks of December I was given an early Christmas present.  My saintly parents kept the children after we went out for Thanksgiving and my husband and I returned home.  ALONE.

You must realize we’ve never lived without kids.  Never in 6 years of marriage.  But that’s a whole ‘nother post.

Leaving Colorado kid-less was an amazing (albeit bittersweet) present and I’m still not sure how to thank them enough.  It was like a second honeymoon.  Heck, we actually got to go to school together, have lunch together.  We even have study dates together!  It was so fun!

Okay, enough exclamation marks.  You get the point.

Besides enjoying time with Handsome, I was able to bake; can apple sauce, butter & jelly; and actually finish an entire book in a timely manner.  The book I found at our local library was unexpectedly delightful.  Entitled The Gentle Art of Domesticity, it is the creation of Jane Brocket.  Mrs. Brocket is, perhaps, best known for her blog Yarnstorm. I must be truthful, I had never heard of this wonderful lady, her blog, or her book.  That is my shame.  However, I have now seen the light and am domestically saved.

I can hear angels singing…

I will start with Mrs. Brocket’s writing style, which I an convinced is a side effect of being English.  There’s something in that rainy, wet air that breeds good, comfortable authors.  From front to back, this book welcomes the reader into her home, makes tea and sandwiches, and treats them like a treasured friend.  Each chapter (perfectly easy to read when you have 5 minutes) serenely and humorously discusses prosaic things:  quilts & buttons, movies & knitting, vegetable gardens & cupcakes.

Bold, beautiful photography saturated the book.  This is reason enough to keep this book on your coffee table.  Any kids, grandkids, or itinerant urchins will be entranced.  When my kids got home before Christmas, they spent hours poring over the pages.  They adored the explosion of (often neon) colors.  Another reason is that the introduction made a point of differentiating domesticity and domestication.  According to Mrs. Brocket, being domesticated means you know how to clean dishes, do laundry and iron pillowcases.  Domesticity is the art of making that clean home beautiful and of Creating within the framework of your home.

This book is unabashed in its domesticity and has helped me to completely embrace my own.  It also is perfect for inspiration.  After looking at pictures of one of her gorgeous quilts, I finally kept that promise to my daughter to make her a new blankie.  I’ll show it to you in a later post; I’m terribly proud of it.

Read this book, even if you don’t think you can so much as thread a needle.  It will inspire the artist in you to make some part of your world more beautiful, more precious.

But the thing that instantly endears me to Mrs. Brocket:  she shares the nearly universal female crush on Carey Grant.  I mean, can any woman 17-87 look at Mr. Grant and not drool?   Methinks it is impossible.  I wouldn’t want to take him home, since that would be infidelity.  But, man, I sure like to look at him.

Yum.

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3 Comments Add yours

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