This is only the second month of my being in two book clubs, and due to scheduling they fell within the same week. One last Monday and one today. The first book club is a zoom group of college friends
and we discussed Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde.
While I love reading and discussing books, which we did, I think this book club is as much about an excuse to visit together as a group once a month as it is about reading. That being said, everyone read the book and we did have a lively discussion. The story line of this young adult book, features two individuals whose life changes dramatically in the blink of an eye. One is a senior citizen on a very fixed income who gets swindled out of her monthly social security check and has to now live in her van, and the other is a 15 year old girl from an affluent family whose parents get arrested one night on charges of embezzlement and she has to enter into the foster system. Somehow they link up and take a journey together, both growing and changing. It has a few unlikely scenarios and got wrapped up a bit too neatly in the end, but it was a decent read. It was a mixed bag of like and not like--but overall a nice discussion. The second book for the week for my other book club was A Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks.
This book was about the bubonic plague in a small village in England back in 1666 and how they chose to practice isolation and social distancing to try to stop the spread of the disease. While a fictional account, it was historically based on the village of Eyam. The plague travels in via some flea infested cloth and quickly takes hold. It is not the most uplifting topic for these Covid days and a few of our members struggled to get through it. I thought it was very well-written and you can identify with several of the characters. I learned a lot about the plague, and glad I didn't live then. I enjoyed the read up until the last 30 pages, when the whole story line goes off tract. I did not like the ending, even if it is a happy one. Maybe get past Covid days before you read this one.
Even though the weather has changed and I am back to gardening, I am still reading more than ever. In addition to these books, I also read the latest Louise Penny book All the Devils are Here which was excellent. I usually don't like her books as much if they aren't centered in Three Pines, but this one is in Paris and I was riveted. I recently gave a rest to my marathon reading of the Cork O'Conner books, but I started back up and I am now into the 9th one with several others waiting in the wings. Reading is a great way to escape via the written word. What are you reading?