VIOLA IN REEL LIFE by best-selling author Adriana Trigiani. We had both read the book awhile ago and thought it would be perfect for our group of girls and moms. To make things even better, Adriana agreed to do a Skype chat with us!!!!!
Adriana just happens to be one of my favorite people in the whole wide world... and I think Booking Daughter now agrees! For those of you who have had the opportunity to meet her, you already know what I mean when I say that she is just incredible. She can light up a room (or in this case, an iPad screen and our big screen television) and has the power to truly make every person she talks to feel special. It's a beautiful skill and I am so grateful to her for touching each member of our book club's hearts.
Because we were having Adriana "join" us, I wanted to do something special for the girls. Booking Daughter wanted me to make and decorate yellow ballet flat cookies, but I thought that might be taking on a little too much. Instead, I had our local grocery story make a Viola cake that looked just like the cover of the book. It turned out to be adorable and the girls were thrilled! I almost hated to cut it!
The moms and girls spent about a half hour discussing the book before we called Adriana. I can't recommend VIOLA IN REEL LIFE enough for mother/daughter book clubs. All of the girls and moms loved the book, but we also appreciated the many wonderful messages that were part of the story. (You can read my review here.) This novel gave us the opportunity to really talk about some important (and relevant) issues with our girls including self-confidence, crushes, friendship, parent/child relationships, and many more.
And then for the highlight of our meeting... Adriana! I have had the pleasure to talk with Adriana a few times so I knew the girls would be in for a treat. To be honest, that was an understatement! Booking Daughter had prepared a list of questions for Adriana because she knew she'd get nervous; and each of the girls took turns asking them. Adriana graciously answered all of their questions, but it was how she answered them that made this discussion so wonderful.
Adriana is incredibly wise. She has said many things to me, both in her writing and in person, that have stuck with me. Adriana and I are close in age, so it didn't surprise me that we have bonded over books, faith, motherhood, and our relationships with our grandmothers. What stuck me as so amazing was how well she bonded with these thirteen year old girls. As Booking Daughter said to me later, "She is just so cool. She really understands us!"
Adriana gave the girls an unbelievable amount of personal attention and advice. She made each one of them feel important and (hopefully) realize that they all have something special to offer the world -- whether it be a talent like writing or being a wonderful friend. She voice so eloquently the many things I want to say to my daughter every single day, but for some reason am unable to convey. Of course, I think hearing this advice from Adriana is a lot more effective that hearing it from me anyway!
I've known for a long time that Adriana is truly a gift, and I'm so glad that these seven girls had the chance to see it with their own eyes. What a special day!