Wednesday, September 10, 2008

September 2008 Book Club Meeting and October Selection

Summary: It was the summer on Vliet Street when we all started locking our doors...

Sally O'Malley made a promise to her daddy before he died. She swore she'd look after her sister, Troo. Keep her safe. But like her Granny always said-actions speak louder than words. Now, during the summer of 1959, the girls' mother is hospitalized, their stepfather has abandoned them for a six pack, and their big sister, Nell, is too busy making out with her boyfriend to notice that Sally and Troo are on the Loose. And so is a murderer and molester.

Highly imaginative Sally is pretty sure of two things. Who the killer is. And that she's next on his list. Now she has no choice but to protect herself and Troo as best she can, relying on her own courage and the kindness of her neighbors. -- NAL/Penguin

Last night, the Preschool Moms Book Club met to discuss WHISTLING IN THE DARK by Lesley Kagan. I think we all agreed that it was a wonderful read. Our hostess even made Blondies -- very appropriate since on of the characters in the story made them for Sally and Troo. Most of us enjoyed the story and everyone (except for one woman) were surprised by who the murderer/molester was.

For me, the highlight of the evening was definitely Ms. Kagan's call. She was absolutely wonderful; and I have to say she was exactly what I imagined from her writing style and her Q&As. She was extremely gracious and spent quite awhile talking with us! We started the conversation by asking Ms. Kagan to tell us about herself. I thought she was just fascinating -- she's had many careers, such as restaurant owner, radio show host, and actress; and she has met many interesting people.

Ms. Kagan was also extremely open about how difficult it was to have her first novel published -- she had lots and lots of rejections (over 100.) We found out some interesting things about the publishing industry. I just thoroughly enjoyed listening to her talk about her novels and the characters that she created. It was so refreshing to spend some time with someone who is so passionate about her life!

For October, we will be reading CAT'S EYE by Margaret Atwood. This book is a little longer than our usual monthly fare, but it was announced at our August meeting to give everyone plenty of time to read it. Of course, I haven't started it yet, so I'll probably be rushing to finish it before next month! This will be the second Margaret Atwood novel that our book club has read -- we read A HANDMAID'S TALE a few years ago.

Summary: Cat's Eye is the story of Elaine Risley, a controversial painter who returns to Toronto, the city of her youth, for a retrospective of her art. Engulfed by vivid images of the past, she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship, longing, and betrayal. Elaine must come to terms with her own identity as a daughter, a lover, an artist, and a woman--but above all she must seek release from her haunting memories. Disturbing, hilarious, and compassionate, Cat's Eye is a breathtaking novel of a woman grappling with the tangled knot of her life. -- Knopf


Anonymous said...

Another good recommendation. Although, was it hard to read about a molester?? I sometimes have trouble with that type of book.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed *Cat's Eye*. Well, I don't think there's a Margaret Atwood book I haven't enjoyed; they tend to "stay" with me for a while!

I'll check back to see what you and your group thought of it.