Thursday, January 14, 2010

Book Review -- The Wordy Shipmates

The Wordy Shipmates The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The correct title of this book should have been The Wordy, Convoluted, Confusing, Shipmates. I loved Sarah Vowell's previous book, The Assassination Vacation, she has a witty, sharp, writing style, but The Wordy Shipmates was all over the place.

Maybe I was at a disadvantage from my obviously inadequate public school education --but had NO idea going into this book who John Winthrop, Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson or Mary Dyer were or anything about the Pequot Indian/Mystic Fort massacre – and whether these folks were puritans, separatists or non-separatists. I now know that Winthrop was a Puritan and the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, that Senator John Kerry from MA is a descendant, and that GWB is descendant of Anne Hutchinson. Oh, and the Mystic Massacre – yeah, it was really BAD – those righteous Puritans set fire and killed about 600-700 unarmed Indians. But other than that – I’m still not sure if I am any the wiser or less confused.

I’m disappointed I didn’t like this more, since I’m a fan of Sarah Vowell (she is from Oklahoma after all), but this book didn’t do anything for me.

My friend Heather is an adopted New Englander – I think I will mail it to her to read so she can explain Puritan history me!

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A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

Oh, well. My junior English literature teacher hit Puritanism pretty hard when I was in high school. I'll never be able to get that stuff out of my head, so maybe I should give this one a shot!

Tricia said...

I enjoyed Assassination Vacation too! Darn!