Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Meeting of January 26, 2009

Our meeting was held at Colette's home with Betty hosting. Thank you to Betty for great nibbles and an excellent wine choice. Betty, Carla, Colette, Janet, Joan and Michèle were present. This month's book was The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson suggested by Joan. This is the second book by Mary Lawson that the Book Club has read. Crow Lake was enjoyed by all members in 2004.

The book was unanimously enjoyed by all members present. All felt that the book was well written and that the story flowed well.  Each chapter began with a headline from The Temiskaming Speaker with the date. This helped the reader understand the chronology of  the two story lines. Carla mentioned and others agreed that Ms. Lawson is excellent at setting the mood and describing the surroundings. 

There was considerable discussion about the three main male characters, Arthur, Jake and Ian and the relationship between the brothers Arthur and Jake.  Janet compared them to the twin sons of Isacc and Rebekah in the Bible,  Esau and Jacob, the good and the evil.  There was a discussion about why Arthur does not stand up to Jake, how past incidents such as Jake's fall from the bridge affect Arthur's reaction to Jake's presence and actions. Many felt that Arthur's reaction was fuelled by guilt and his need to atone for failing to properly protect his brother and disappointing his mother. 

We also discussed how Ms. Lawson managed to keep suspense in a story line even though we knew from the beginning what eventually unfolded in the story. A good example is at the beginning of the book when Jake insists they play the knife game. 

We also discussed Ian's character, his denial as an adolescent of his eventual life choice to f become a family doctor taking over his father's practice. Again, it was evident from the beginning what Ian's choice would be but Ms. Lawson still kept suspense in the story line. 

This was a good choice, thank you Joan.  For those who have not viewed the video interview available on the left side of the blog, it is interesting to hear Ms. Lawson talk about her writing style and the connection she made between her two novels.

A "Name the Book Club" competition was held. Six suggestions were nominated: 
  1. Cream of the Crop
  2. Eclectic
  3. Monthly Muse & Views
  4. Ladies of Lit (LOL)
  5. Nights of Wine & Proses
  6. Read it & Eat
From a secret e-mail ballot, the name that won is "Monthly Muse and Views", suggested by Jolene.  All agreed that it is a good choice for the name of our Book Club. We also agreed to shorten the name to "Muse and Views". 

We also held our "Academy Award" of books read in 2008.  A Thousand Splendid Suns the book suggested by Michèle won easily. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Books & Meetings in 2009

Monday January 26

Joan's choice The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson, at Colette's home, Betty is hosting.

Monday February 23

Janet's choice - Stanley Park by Timothy Taylor at Carla's home

Monday March 23

Jolene's choice - Mr. Darcy Presents his Bride: A sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice by Helen Halstead at Janet's home

Monday April 27

Beth's choice - Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor at Jolene's home

Monday May 25

Shirley's choice, Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum at Linda's home

Monday June 22

Colette's choice The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows at Shirley's home

Monday September 28

Carla's choice Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See at Colette's home

Monday October 26

Linda's choice The Hatbox Letters by Beth Powning at Beth's home

Monday November 23

Betty's choice Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin at Janet's home