Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Book Club 2011

Last night my book club met for our last meeting for 2011. The book up for discussion was rated by all who attended as a fantastic read. I have not been able to put down Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible. Now that I've finished it, I'm sorry I don't have more to read about this American missionary family with four daughters in 1960s Congo.

I'm still turning the book over in my head. It's a dense one, filled with literary references (I made some of my own comparisons as well), clever plays on words and invented words, politics, cultural misunderstandings and a family with the kinds of complication relationships that just seem to me to be so difficult to navigate, yet throughout everything the family presses on. We know it's not going to be a pretty story from the get-go. Each awful thing that happens to the family was a blow to me as the reader but kept me hanging on for more.

Well, that is, until the last 75 pages or so. I was all set to give this book one of the few five star ratings on Goodreads that I've had all year. If only the book had ended before I'd had to read too much about the sisters' adult lives! A couple of book club friends agreed with me that if we each read this book again, we'd stop reading at the exact place we felt the book should end and skip the rest so we get out of it exactly what we want next time. Have you read this book? What was your reaction?

As a side note, last night was the second Christmas book club party where we celebrated by making mandarin lanterns (a bit blurry, but still festive). Here's mine:

Happy holidays!

1 comment:

  1. i wholeheartedly agree. i felt like she was trying to be too controlling (like Tata Prize) and wanted to force us to think a certain way about the characters - rather than giving us the license to make our own judgements and conclusions.

    extremely well-written and entrapping story...just not after the girls trip. :)