Thursday, February 24, 2011

Forgive me father for I am arrogant...

I first heard about ‘Mousetrapped’ by Catherine Ryan Howard from Caroline Smailes’ blog back in April of last year. Caroline is a confirmed Disney lover whereas I am not and yet… I knew that I wanted to read it. I was intrigued, not only by the modern publishing story (after positive agent feedback but no deal, Catherine published the book herself) but also by the whole Disney thing; and my own curiosity baffled me. Why would I want to read about some going to work at Disneyworld in Orlando?

It’s not that I hate Disney; I’m indifferent towards it. The Toy Story films and Jungle Book are among my favourite animated movies and there are all sorts of things I admire about the combined skills of those that make them. Look there probably are all sorts of legitimate reasons why some people hate Disney and you can find any number of vitriolic websites about those should you wish to but they weren’t relevant to how I felt. I eventually forgot about trying to identify why I was uncomfortable at wanting to read a story by someone who believed in the magic and Catherine’s book disappeared from my mind until I read another article about her experience of e-publishing.

Perhaps it somewhere around the time that I ordered it that I worked out what I felt. Ouch: I felt superior. Double ouch.

I began to read ‘Mousetrapped’ anyway.

I loved it. It’s immediately engaging and I felt as though Catherine were with me telling me her tale in person. And I realized we weren’t so different from each other. She was just looking for something -aren’t we all? Excitement? Happiness? Fulfillment? (Didn’t she say: “Ahead of her she sees weekends at the beach, mornings by the pool and an inexplicably skinnier version of herself skipping around Magic Kingdom.” And didn’t I, from the UK, imagine drifting around our Bangkok apartment in a size 8 Ghost dress, listening to Frank Sinatra?)

I tell you what else she’s done: she’s made me want to go. I do want to actually see it - partly because I’m still fascinated by the notion that some people should feel so much for something I simply can’t comprehend. And partly because I really wouldn’t mind seeing a rocket taking off at Cape Canaveral.

No I still don’t believe in the Magic but I’ve learned something about myself and had a nose into what makes another person tick. Oh yes, and I’ve given myself a firm clunk around the head for my arrogance.


Queenie said...

I enjoyed it too. But then I'm a sucker for a good memoir, and I like travel books as well, so it ticked both boxes for me.

Jenny Beattie said...

Queenie, yes travel too. And of course another recognition was that of being an expat!