October 28, 2013
Mrs. K. - English
The Money That Wasn’t
Did your parents ever keep a secret from you? In the book Mama’s Bank Account, by her daughter Kathryn Forbes, Mama keeps a secret from her children all throughout their childhood. She raises her poor, struggling Norwegian immigrant family, residing in San Francisco in the early 1900’s. Throughout Katrin’s childhood, they encounter numerous challenges, and through it all, Mama’s secret Bank Account keeps them going. Mama’s Bank Account is a fiction that she creates so that her children do not have to worry about money. In the worst of financial times, the children believe in the dependability of the large amount of money Mama has in a big bank downtown. In truth, Mama has never been inside a bank. This remains a very unique book, because in no other non-fictional book of this sort, is lying to your children endorsed; however the fact that Mama lies to her children is probably what kept her family together. This book takes place in the early 1900’s. We deduce this from many seemingly insignificant details in the story like the methods of transportation, the schooling system, and the value of money, which occur quite differently than today. The family resides in San Francisco, California, and throughout the book they live in various houses. They move from one house to another as their financial circumstances change. Although the weather in San Francisco I known to be quite gloomy, Mama keeps a cheerful house. Mama; the matriarch of the home. A proud San Franciscan, who when asked her nationality, would answer, “I am a San Franciscan”, she would then quickly add, “I mean Norvegian. American citizen.” (Page 26). That’s who she was; a proud lady who took pride in living in San Francisco and in keeping her family sheltered from feeling the volatility and struggles of life. Papa was a much more...
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