Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 2009 Book Club Meeting

Summary: Summary: From the bestselling author of The Wife and The Position, a feverishly smart novel about female ambition, money, class, motherhood, and marriage-and what happens in one community when a group of educated women chooses not to work.

For a group of four New York friends, the past decade has been largely defined by marriage and motherhood. Educated and reared to believe that they would conquer the world, they then left jobs as corporate lawyers, investment bankers, and film scouts to stay home with their babies. What was meant to be a temporary leave of absence has lasted a decade. Now, at age forty, with the halcyon days of young motherhood behind them and without professions to define them, Amy, Jill, Roberta, and Karen face a life that is not what they were brought up to expect but seems to be the one they have chosen.

But when Amy gets to know a charismatic and successful working mother of three who appears to have fulfilled the classic women's dream of having it all-work, love, family-without having to give anything up, a lifetime's worth of concerns, both practical and existential, opens up. As Amy's obsession with this woman's bustling life grows, it forces the four friends to confront the choices they've made in opting out of their careers-until a series of startling events shatters the peace and, for some of them, changes the landscape entirely.

Written in Meg Wolitzer's inimitable, glittering style, The Ten-Year Nap is wickedly observant, knowing, provocative, surprising, and always entertaining, as it explores the lives of these women with candor, wit, and generosity. -- Penguin

Last evening, the Preschool Moms Book Club met to talk about THE TEN YEAR NAP by Meg Wolitzer. I enjoyed the book and I just knew it was going to make for a fabulous discussion based on all the terrific comments I received on my review post. One thing is for sure, whether we liked the book or not, THE TEN YEAR NAP definitely made all of us think!

The dynamics of our meeting were kind of interesting since two of us didn't like the book at all, two of us really appreciated it, and two of us were pretty much apathetic about it. Despite our differences (or maybe because of them), I think this was our best meeting in quite awhile. We thoroughly discussed the book, went through almost all of the discussion questions and even made up quite a few of our own. And best of all, we stayed on track for hours talking about the book and what it meant to each of us.

Next month, we will be reading one of my favorite books so far this year: THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett (you can read my review here.) I am pretty sure that everyone is going to love it, and I can't wait to discuss it with my friends. My only issue is whether I'm going to read the book again since I read it a few months ago. I'm not sure that I remember enough details to participate fully in the discussion.

Summary: Be prepared to meet three unforgettable women:

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women—mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends—view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t. -- Putnam


bermudaonion said...

I wish I could come up for your next meeting!

The Bookworm said...

I really enjoyed Ten Year Nap.
And the Help sounds interesting.