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June 20, 2018



Very intriguing. I don't pay too much attention to myself in the mirror, especially since my hair is short enough I don't have to comb it. Is not knowing how we look a good or a bad thing?

Karen in Ohio

That is a great book.

We have lots of mirrors, but I ignore them most of the time, unless I'm putting some lipstick on or something.

We are getting ready to build a new house, and our three daughters made one request: that we put in at least one full-length mirror in or near the guest bedrooms.

Elaine Viets

I think you'd enjoy this book, Karen. I certainly did. Yep, a full-length mirror check is a big help.

Elaine Viets

I'm not sure, Mark. Maybe I spent too much time thinking about it.

Marcia Talley

Sometimes when I walk by a mirror and catch sight of myself I think, "Who is that old woman?" It's scary how much I resemble my grandmother as I age.

Elaine Viets

Sigh. Me, too, Marcia. As I age, I have my Grandmother Vierling's round face. Give me a gray, crinkly perm, and I'd be her twin sister. Unfortunately, I didn't get her cooking talent with age.

Alan P.

Looking at daily life from 200 or so years ago is indeed fascinating. Interesting that make up was in use long before mirrors became popular. Shaving as well, although, I shave without a mirror every day so it can be done.

Does the book happen to mention indoor lighting? The Missouri History Museum had a cabin set up "lit" as it would have been in the early 1800s. Four candles ain't much light.

Elaine Viets

It did talk about the house being dark and gloomy. And I've seen stories from when electric lights first came out -- the light was described as "harsh." You're right, Alan, we live in much brighter light. And you're a brave man to shave without a light.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

REALLY interesting thought! Hmmmm...

Elaine Viets

It is interesting, Hank. I don't think we're aware of how many mirrors are around us.

Alan P.

I have to be careful. "Scarface Al" as a nickname is taken.

Elaine Viets

LOL. Also, Molly and the Princesses need you.

Storyteller Mary

You raise an interesting point . . . mirrors and self-consciousness . . . I'm reminded that mirrors were often covered during mourning.
Alan raised another about lighting. In "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" there is reminiscence of lighting the lamp at dusk, and all the children gathering close, but Granny prefers the honesty of electric light.
I'll throw out another . . . photography, especially now with cameras everywhere and photos shared online by so many. It's "Candid Camera" all the time now.

Elaine Viets

And selfies, Mary, the ultimate mirror of our age.


I dislike mirrors about as much as I dislike cameras.

But what I LOVE is Katherine Howe's writing. Both Deliverance Dane and Conversion are two of my favorite novels ever.

Elaine Viets

Totally agree, Kristopher. Her books are a treat. She's such a graceful writer and her books have many layers.

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