Caveat: I know Katrina Anne Willis, the author of this book. I met her a year ago at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference when I was pulled in by her unguarded smile and then blown away by her quick wit and the graphic booklet she carried with her that contained a synopsis of the book she was promoting. That book, Table for Six, is the subject of this review. Less than a year after the conference ended and we went our separate ways, Katrina and I remain internet writing pals and she is now a published author. What an inspiration she continues to be!
To the best of my ability and with all sincerity, this review is not colored by the fact that I know the author. I believe it to be objective. The only thing altered by that fact is that I read the book at all. As many of you know, I am not a parent, nor a grandparent. I may have nieces, nephews and most recently a grandnephew, but I see them rarely and they always cried and squirmed in my arms when I held them when they were babies, like they sensed that I lack any parenting genes and might just let them drop to the floor if something more interesting grabbed my attention (which could be pretty much anything). The closest thing I have to kids are six dogs and one Mexican caretaker, who come to think of it often behaves like a spoiled 10 year old. So when Katrina told me about her book, I thought it probably wouldn’t be my cup of tea. I became anxious at the thought of having to give her honest feedback and possibly a public review. I thought, “What if I really don’t like it? Oh God, I probably won’t like it because it’s about kids and traditional family life. When have I given a shit about that?” I thought this book would only appeal to those who could nod their heads in agreement arrived at from direct common experience. Well I was wrong. And that is because…
I am reticent to say anything negative about this book, but in all fairness, if it has any failings at all, it is that at first, I was a bit jarred by the manner in which the stories were pulled together, blog-like, and their not-quite-chronological order. In her defense however, Ms. Willis does warn us about this in her Prologue. A few sections into the book, I quickly got into the rhythm, relaxed and let her take me along on a ride that rivals Mr. Toad’s.
So read it. The world needs more laughter (and irreverence).