Ten years ago I would have been too cool for this book club. Back then I was sassy, savvy, opinionated and passionate. I inwardly rolled my eyes at things other people said or liked or did because they were too boring/conformist/ignorant/bourgeois/elitist/racist/judgmental/materialistic/ uninteresting/sappy to make a connection with me. I would have been bored to tears by the discussion of this book: How important are friends to women and to their growth in life? Are you a ten-cow wife? Does life get better as we age? Pul-lease!! Gag me with a pre-printed list of book-club discussion questions. I would have found a way to disassociate my book discussing habits from this collective group of womanly "them." You know, "them," like the "them" that eagerly read every word of every nightly 50-page assignment in high school AP history, and eagerly answered every question while "us" sat in the distant corner and wrote limericks and made up new languages and laughed. "Us" and "them," like the Pink Floyd song. Er, well, I just read the lyrics to that song and I don't know if it means exactly what I'm talking about, but the title really works for how I would have felt about this book club ten years ago.
Today, I am a changed girl. I mostly really like this book club and am only slightly irritated that this month's selection was so obviously written in half a day. That it was written specifically for Mormon women LDS book clubs. That it had no depth. No character or plot development. That no one today wanted to discuss whatever trace of literary element there may have been, but rather chose to stick to those horrid discussion points: If fairies could bestow gifts, what gifts would you wish for your children? Which are easier to raise--boys or girls?
What I did enjoy was the company, at least one of whom is on my list of favorite people and others who are becoming lovely friends. The lunch was a treat: decked out baked potato bar, roll, salad, and chocolate cake with my beverage of choice, water. Getting out without the kids--always fun. Having a reason to make myself read is great. Looking forward to future book selections with more substance, exciting. And it was interesting to listen to how this book actually impacted at least one woman significantly (impact on me: very, very low) as it helped her come closer to terms with her inability to reproduce and the disappointment her two adopted children have become.
So, all in all, my experience of reading this book and attending our book club meeting was a few hours well spent. Here's the book:
Don't read it. It's really lame. But if you do, and afterward want to discuss if friends should always be absolutely honest with each other or what children with challenges bring to a family, I'll only roll my eyes a little. I think I've mellowed and am ever-so-gradually becoming one of "them." And I'm cool with that.
Unrelated post script: Will diana or ahc or someone smart please tell me what to do with commas and quotation marks? I get so confused.