Shove Me in the Shallow Water
by Blogger Margy Ullmann Layton
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Ah, I scratched three itches with this book!
First, I'm always looking for ways to better understand people in my community who deal with addiction, especially when their addictions land them in jail. Shannon Egan grew up Mormon in Utah. She couldn't figure out how to make herself fit inside it all, and as she grappled with that for years, she numbed her pain with alcohol, and she ended up with a felony DUI.
Second, I'm always up for a vicarious adventure. Hopping on a plane to take a tenuous teaching position in the heat and civil unrest of Sudan? Check. Jumping into a career in international journalism without any actual experience? Check. Heading into Darfur while the war there was raging? Check.
Third, I'm deeply curious about how people in various parts of the world struggle to live in community with one another, especially when they have vastly different world views and corrupt political leaders who have their own agendas. Egan delivered an accessible an emotionally wrenching front-row account of the divisions in Sudan that eventually led to South Sudan's independence. She learned her trade well!
Early in the book she writes about a couple of epiphanies she had growing up:
"I don't want to walk in a straight line for the rest of my life." And, "I never liked the idea of having everything figured out and decided upon. I wanted the experience of seeking and finding and knowing for myself. I wanted to get to the heart of matters without being shamed for it."
Her epiphanies totally resonate with me.
Those and the scandalous crush she has on Steven Tyler that she reveals toward the end. I don't know what it is about that guy . . .
A few years ago my husband Roger and I closed our happy little independent bookstore called The Read Leaf in Springville, Utah, and we are embarking on new adventures. We are parents to Jack (16), who is smart and funny and determined to live life on his own terms. I'm originally from Massachusetts and headed west to attend college. I stayed because I married a Utah boy who hates humidity.