Because I am so passionate about my Genealogical research it absorbs much of my time. Like a sponge my research sucks up time and I wonder where did the evening go? Where did my weekend vanish? Why am I still in my pajamas, poised before my computer screen, empty morning coffee cup at my side at two in the afternoon?
Though genealogy and family history is a wonderful hobby full of discovery, puzzles, history, and sentiment among so many other exciting things for crazy people such as myself–and possibly you if you are reading this–one does need to escape from it once and a while. Learning to find joy in other leisure activities creates an important balance. Exercise, pushing one’s self away from that keyboard, is crucial and healthy but so is turning off the screens and curling up with a book that doesn’t necessarily add to your genealogical research but may still have just the hint of family history that would peak any genealogist’s interest.
A bit of mystery, and detective work, a little delving into local archives and dusty family journals, and of course a whiff of scandal leading ultimately to skeletons in the family closet; no it isn’t my family history research of which I speak, but rather the latest novel by Kate Morton, The Lake House!
I realize readers might question why I would choose to write about a novel on a genealogy blog. My response why ever not? What is genealogy and family history but the piecing together of a story. The Lake House is novel which tells a family’s story through the gathering of pieces one by one, configuring them, analyzing them, and reorganizing them until finally the truth is revealed. Kate Morton, with her usual skill and genius, has woven the thick fabric of an intricate plot which morphs with each new warp and weft. The novel appealed to my interest in puzzling family history together, excitement in genealogical discovery, and amazement in the almost coincidental and fateful way some information seems to fall into one’s lap unexpectedly.
Remember that in Genealogy, the Genealogical Proof Standard requires the genealogist to perform a reasonably exhaustive search for sources, and analyze those sources before making any conclusions. I was reminded of this while reading The Lake House. I was also reminded that as one collects each new piece of evidence the conclusion may change, sometimes in very substantive ways!