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The Things I Know Book Review
In The Things I Know book review I discuss the story of Thomasina Waycott, who's physical flaws have kept her from being a fierce, confident woman. Thomasina grew up living and working on the family farm in the English countryside with her parents and her younger brother. She enjoys taking care of the chickens. She even names them all, how sweet is that?
Thomasina was born with several birth defects. Her leg is malformed causing her to walk differently. And, she has a malformed upper lip. Her lip has not been surgically repaired as an excruciatingly painful surgery on her leg soured Thomasina on the idea of ever agreeing to any further surgeries. Thomasina has determined not be a victim of what others see as her physical limitations. In fact, Thomasina does not think of herself as being physically limited.
Thomasina adores her brother and they have been close growing up together. However, he has now graduated college. Soon after, he landed a good job on a ranch in Wyoming. Now with her brother so far away, Thomasina is feeling alone and isolated on the farm. Her parents dote on her and treat her like a child. But she is a grown woman with needs and wants. Thomasina longs for all the things any woman would look forward to in life.
Sometimes when she is restless, Thomasina climbs up into her father’s old pick-up truck and drives into town. The town bar is the local haunt for the town’s young people, most of whom grew up and attended school with Thomasina. Unfortunately, much as in real life, there are those inconsiderate souls who use Thomasina’s presence as an opportunity to ridicule, snicker and laugh at her.
I appreciate how the author has developed the character of Thomasina as a sensitive, yet strong and intelligent woman. Yes, Thomasina’s feelings get hurt, and yes, she has her weak moments. But, it's quite evident that Thomasina is also resilient enough to push aside the ignorance of others and is able to move forward. I think Thomasina actually is a fierce and confident woman, she just doesn't know it yet. Her "friends" laugh at her, her parents treat her like a child and her brother is gone. I think Thomasina is in dire need of someone to validate her. Maybe then, she will learn how to unleash her power within and experience self-validation.
The family farm also serves as a remote bed and breakfast for travelers. One day a young man checks in to the bed and breakfast. Grayson Potts tells Thomasina, he is in the area for a business meeting at which he is scheduled to speak. He anticipates staying in the B&B for a few days. Gray and Thomasina spend time together. Thomasina can tell that Gray is different from the other young men she knows. He dresses differently, his hairstyle is a bit odd, and he seems eccentric at times. And Gray appreciates how different Thomasina is from other women he has known. Gray is not in the least concerned about, or put off by, Thomasina’s physical appearance. Gray does not see any imperfections in Thomasina. He seems only to see her as an intelligent and captivating woman.
While Gray and Thomasina are enjoying one of their many pleasant conversations, there was a poignant moment when Gray learned why Thomasina goes by the nickname of Hitch. He immediately tells her she should insist that others call her by her rightful name. Thomasina takes this to heart, and she soon begins correcting those who call her Hitch, even her parents. In fact, there is a powerful moment in the story where Thomasina stands up for herself by refusing to put up with the name calling and rude behavior of a mean and menacing cousin who is working at the farm.
As the storyline progresses, I find myself rooting for Gray and Thomasina to get together. Even as the farm comes up against hard times and the family might, so to speak, “lose the farm,” I found myself hoping against hope that Gray and Thomasina would get together. I was wishing they would be kind of like Rocky Balboa and Adrian. You may be familiar with that memorable line uttered by Rocky, “She's got gaps, I've got gaps, together we fill gaps.” That is how I see Thomasina and Gray. They could become a power couple and we could call them, "Gray-Sina" or "Thom-Gray." As time passes, Gray and Thomasina do become closer, but their road is not clear. There are obstacles in their way. In order to move forward, they will need to gather strength from each other.
Will Thomasina achieve her wish for a normal, happy life with a man who loves her, a family, and a home of her own? Throughout The Things I know, Thomasina shares with us the progression of the things she comes to know about herself.
Here is what I know:
- I know I loved The Things I Know!
- I know The Things I Know is a wonderful story about diversity!
- I know The Things I Know is sensitive, sad, yet funny, and triumphant!
- I know if you love books written by Amanda Prowse…I know you will love The Things I know!