Here’s what happened at Book Club…
This was a wonderful book club meeting for a couple of reasons.
The first was the addition of a new book club member .
We extend a warm welcome to Katherine who moved to St. John’s from Australia just a short time ago. She seemed to hold up well and didn’t seem to be the least put off by our political incorrectness and colourful language.
We’re glad to have you Katherine and look forward to you bringing a new perspective to our discussions.
The 2nd reason for the resounding success of this meeting was the grub!
Thank goodness for the culinary talents of a special White sister. Kelly’s sister Lorraine provided the most visually delicious and tasty delicious Vietnamese food… OMG ! We had our discussion over red wine , white wine , and 2 courses of beautiful food with cheesecake balls for dessert!
It is official Lorraine (Kelly White’s sister) you are the book club’s caterer for all future meetings. Thank you so very much for doing this for us. It was incredibly special and we truly appreciate it.
So what about the book Ru by Kim Thuy….. a beautifully written memoir, but not that take us through the journey from Saigon to a Malaysian Refugee Camp to life in Quebec. It is written as short wisps of sometimes random thoughts & experiences. While beautiful and sometimes thought provoking most of us felt it was difficult to find a character or story to attach ourselves to.
It was very interesting to read about the ‘boat people’ from the perspective on one of them. Many of us remember clearly the news items and images of the late 1970’s as boat loads of refugees arrived on shore. How many more were lost we’ll never know.
“The others, those who’d gone down during the crossing, had no names. They died anonymously. We were among those who had been lucky enough to wash up on dry land. We felt blessed to be among the two thousand refugees in a camp that was intended to hold two hundred.”
We talked about the author’s prevailing sense of needing to remain unattached to too many things – it makes one vulnerable when there’s much to lose.
The book has been translated from French to English and we (Pam) did question whether the poetic phrasing and beautiful language was in fact a credit to the author or to the translator. An interesting thought….
This book was very different from most we have read and I think we were all glad it was selected.
It spawned a wonderful conversion about some family members / friends who experienced the Vietnam war and what the impact was, the implications of Agent Orange on the families of soldiers overseas and very close to home, the need for people to have a voice in order for wrongs to be righted.
There were other conversations too of course (we had a lot of food and wine to consume): who knew ’11’ was the magic number for youngsters – you’d be cracked to have 12!! There was an enlightening chat about our favorite and least favorite books over the years – some were very clear, an I quote: “I hated that fu*&ing book!” We resurrected the gross/sexy Sea Wolf (it’s a personal preference it seems – and depends on your tolerance for Syphilis).
So there you have it. Thank you Kelly (and Lorraine!) for a most wonderful evening. It really was very special.
Oh and Kelly, we’ll be waiting with baited breath to see if Helen Keller, or Danny Williams make it to the elevator…