That being said, we have to try harder to find the time to meet. We women need time to sit and chat with other women, sharing our ideas, our news, our troubles, our complaints...and maybe talking about the book a bit too.
In this case, because we hadn't met for so long, we actually discussed two books, The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I'll get to the novels in a minute. First, let's talk food.
The gals and I favour the "brunch with tons of food" book club meeting. For this meeting, I made mini banana chocolate chip muffins, while Sarah made a tofu omelette and Connie made vegan scones.
Connie made a gorgeous fruit salad.
I made fried potatoes.
As if the main meal wasn't decadent enough, Sarah made lemon poppyseed cake for dessert. Yum! All of the food was vegan and the desserts were made with spelt flour for less gluten.
Here are my lovely and talented book club gals. They are cracking up because we tried to figure out the best way to pose for flattering portraits. I think they are beautiful inside and out. I chose no picture at all, though, as most flattering for myself. Unfair, I know.
|By the way, Jolene the beagle mix chewed the corner off my copy of The Virgin Cure. She loves to eat hardcover books.|
The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay
"I am Moth, a girl from the lowest part of Chrystie Street, born to a slum-house mystic and the man who broke her heart." I think Ami McKay should get points for creating one of the most intriguing sentences that has ever opened a novel. I had to read it a few times in order to grab hold of the information it contains. A girl named Moth? A slum-house mystic? This has got to be good.
The novel is set in the tenements of lower Manhattan in the year 1871. I had no idea New York was such a terrible place for women and children back then. A (poor) woman without a husband had few prospects. When Moth's father walks away from his wife and daughter, he sentences them to a life of misery. Moth's mother doesn't make much of a living with her fortune-telling and Moth is all too aware of how she really pays the rent.
The Virgin Cure is beautifully written. It's also a page-turner, sucking you into Moth's journey as - betrayed by her mother - she sets out on her own into a cruel world. Thieves, pickpockets, beggars, sideshow freaks and prostitutes, Moth encounters them all. And that's where I'll stop, because I can't stand it when I know what's going to happen in a novel. It's best to read it yourself and find out.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Harold Fry is recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by everything he does. One morning, Harold receives a letter addressed in a shaky scrawl from a woman he hasn't heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is dying, and she's writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and heads to the corner mailbox. But Harold doesn't stop at the first mailbox, or the next one. Some unknown force spurs Harold on until he ultimately decides to walk the six hundred miles from Kingsbridge to the hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed. Thus begins Harold's unlikely pilgrimage.
In the early part of the novel, what struck me most was all the imagery of Harold trying to be silent and invisible. He folds his clothes "small as an apology" on a faded blue-velvet chair. His footsteps in his yachting shoes barely make a noise on the carpet. As Harold walks, he encounters a cast of colourful characters. In doing so, he learns something about others, but even more about himself. As the novel progresses, Harold begins to unlock a series of memories, both beautiful and painful, and finally a tragic memory that he hasn't wanted to face.
As Harold reconciles the losses and the regrets, Maureen is undergoing her own transformation back at home. This book is a great read for both men and women, and married couples in particular. You'll want to keep journeying with Harold and Maureen as they uncover feelings once hidden within themselves.
Have you read any great books lately? Do you have a book club?
Linking up with Twitterature.