Gabriela Houston, an author of adult and children's fiction books. Her latest work, "The Bone Roots," is an adult fiction novel deeply influenced by Slavic mythologies and her childhood in the wild and enchanting Polish Lake District.
While folk and fairy tales from various cultures often feature simple storylines with good and evil characters, Gabriela's book takes a different path. "The Bone Roots" presents us with complex characters, including two morally ambiguous mothers, who fiercely strive to protect their children but sometimes inadvertently harm them and others, despite their noble intentions. Instead of the typical fairy tale romance, Gabriela also introduces a more nuanced and hopeful exploration of masculine and feminine relationships. This unexpected dimension adds depth to a story that may otherwise be seen as dark or foreboding.
Gabriela’s conversation in today’s episode is also full of thoughtful nuance. We discuss the significance of mythologies to all cultures, particularly Slavic folk tales to Polish culture. We delve into a large variety of topics - even hitting one I had consciously decide to avoid! - regarding adoption and the dynamics between adoptive parents and their adopted children.
As with all best episodes of The Storied Recipe, Gabriela’s reflections are deeply personal. She recalls her grandparents, who perhaps serve as the inspiration for the aspirational relationships depicted in her book. She fondly recalls the sacred and tranquil moments spent with them in the forests of the Polish Lake District, hunting with her grandfather and cooking with her grandmother.
Finally, as is customary in every episode of "The Storied Recipe," Gabriela also shares a meaningful and delicious recipe: her Polish paste, a pâté that she and her grandmother used to create using the game her grandfather had hunted in those woods. I'm thrilled to share this episode with you, as it encapsulates everything I love about "The Storied Recipe."
- The rediscovery of Slavic mythology
- The purpose of fairy tales to a culture, especially Polish culture
- 20 minutes - ALL my “likes”
- The Polish Lake District - Glacial Lakes surrounded by Forest - and the impact of this region on Gabriela’s writing
- Gabriela’s memories of her grandfather as a hunter and steward of the land
- Gabriela’s grandparent’s relationship
- Memories of Pasztet - and how to make this Polish Pate
- The themes of adoption and motherhood in The Bone Roots
- The very real, very positive masculine/feminine relationships in The Bone Roots and her grandparents relationship
- The importance of personal loyalty in relationship
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