Motherhood by the Book is led by Claire, VB staffer, mother, and grandmother.
The book group meets on the second Sunday of every month at 2pm in the Readings Gallery at Village Books, for an hour of spirited discussion of books that celebrate the trials, tribulations, and rewards of motherhood, and what it means to be a mother. This group is by no means exclusive to moms with kids still at home. We read fiction and non-fiction, older and newer titles, all with the theme of Motherhood. Join us!
Sunday, November 7, 2pm* NOTE: We are meeting one week earlier than usual this month only.
rough house: a memoir by Tina Ontiveros
Tina Ontiveros was born into timber on both sides of the family. Her mother spent summers driving logging trucks for her family’s operation, and her father was the son of an itinerant logger, raised in a variety of lumber towns, as Tina herself would be.
A story of growing up in turmoil, rough house recounts a childhood divided between a charming, mercurial, abusive father in the forests of the Pacific Northwest and a mother struggling with small-town poverty. It is also a story of generational trauma, especially for the women—a story of violent men and societal restrictions, of children not always chosen and frequently raised alone.
Ontiveros’s father, Loyd, looms large. Reflecting on his death and long absence from her life, she writes, “I had this ridiculous hope that I would get to enjoy a functional relationship with my father, on my own terms, now that I was an adult.” In searingly honest, straightforward prose, rough house is her attempt to carve out this relationship, to understand her father and her family from an adult perspective.
While some elements of Ontiveros’s story are universal, others are indelibly grounded in the logging camps of the Pacific Northwest at the end of the twentieth century, as the lumber industry shifted and contracted. Tracing her childhood through the working-class towns and forests of Washington and Oregon, Ontiveros explores themes of love and loss, parents and children, and her own journey to a different kind of adulthood.
Tina Ontiveros is a writing instructor at Columbia Gorge Community College, book buyer at Klindt’s Booksellers in The Dalles, and president of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association.