Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February 2012 Book Club Meeting

Summary: In a Balkan country mending from war, Natalia, a young doctor, is compelled to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. Searching for clues, she turns to his worn copy of The Jungle Book and the stories he told her of his encounters over the years with “the deathless man.” But most extraordinary of all is the story her grandfather never told her—the legend of the tiger’s wife. -- Random House

This month, we read THE TIGER'S WIFE by Tea Obrecht. It was my month to host the meeting and I wasn't exactly sure what to expect at our meeting. As I read this novel, I was pretty sure that at least a few of my friends would hate it, but I was still hoping that we could have an interesting discussion,

It ended up that we only had half of our members in attendance. I was a little bummed because I was looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts about this very unique novel. Plus, I had made a Raspberry Brownie Chocolate Trifle and I didn't want leftovers! I have to be honest when I tell you that I wasn't sure how I felt about THE TIGER'S WIFE. There were parts of it that I really enjoyed and then there were other parts that I didn't like quite as much; and I know I didn't totally "get" the entire novel. Our small group of four was definitely split with one really liking it, two thinking it was interesting, and one not really liking it much at all.

We ended up talking about the book for about a half hour and that was probably enough for us. I chose not to use the reader's guide because our discussion seemed to be going along fine without it. I actually think we covered about half the questions on our own anyway. While I'm still not entirely sold on this book, I did appreciate it more after our discussion.

Stay tuned because I still plan on writing a review over the next few days... assuming I can articulate my thoughts.

For March, we will be reading BEST KEPT SECRET by Amy Hatvany. I am extremely excited about this selection because I read this book a few months ago and loved it. You can read my review here. I was really surprised by how much this book affected me and I'm curious to see if any of my friends have a similar reaction.

Summary: Cadence didn't sit down one night and decide that downing two bottles of wine was a brilliant idea.

Her drinking snuck up on her - as a way to sleep, to help her relax after a long day, to relieve some of the stress of the painful divorce that's left her struggling to make ends meet with her five-year old son, Charlie.

It wasn't always like this. Just a few years ago, Cadence seemed to have it all—a successful husband, an adorable son, and a promising career as a freelance journalist. But with the demise of her marriage, her carefully constructed life begins to spiral out of control. Suddenly she is all alone trying to juggle the demands of work and motherhood.

Logically, Cadence knows that she is drinking too much, and every day begins with renewed promises to herself that she will stop. But within a few hours, driven by something she doesn't understand, she is reaching for the bottle - even when it means not playing with her son because she is too tired, or dropping him off at preschool late, again. And even when one calamitous night it means leaving him alone to pick up more wine at the grocery store. It's only when her ex-husband shows up at her door to take Charlie away that Cadence realizes her best kept secret has been discovered….

Heartbreaking, haunting, and ultimately life-affirming,
Best Kept Secret is more than just the story of Cadence—it's a story of how the secrets we hold closest are the ones that can most tear us apart. -- Washington Square Press


bermudaonion said...

I wish I could have been there for that trifle!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Nope, nope. No trifle, no trifle. But I love a good discussion, and while I have NOT read this book (intimidated perhaps) I have heard every possible opinion of it, good and bad. I sure wish more people were showing up for The Dovekeepers because I am thinking it is going to be a similar discussion.

Debbie said...

I listened to this book on audio, and the narration was GREAT. I loved it...then I got to the end of the and thought "WHAT???"
I'm sure I didn't 'get it.'
Whatever it was.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I keep seeing how this was one of the "best" books for 2011, but yes - reviews all over the place! I love Debbie's comment!

Serena said...

I haven't read either of those books. But at least you got some good discussion.