Notes from the Meeting of Women’s Connection Book Club of Wednesday, February 20, 2008 At Carol Ehman’s home Thank you to Marg Skelley for leading the discussion of Fishing with John by Edith Iglauer. You did a great job! And thank you to Carol for the hospitality. Eleven people were present. Next meeting is Wednesday March 19. We’ll be discussing The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. The books were ordered last week, so you should be hearing from the Reading Centre shortly. The discussion will be lead by Karen Dyck. The meeting will be held at Helen Christian’s. Details to get to her place will follow with a reminder. Other books read this month: The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs The "New York Times" bestselling sensation that's ""Steel Magnolias" set in Manhattan". Juggling the demands of her yarn shop and single-handedly raising a teenage daughter has made Georgia Walker grateful for her Friday Night Knitting Club. Her friends are happy to escape their lives too, even for just a few hours. But when Georgia's ex suddenly reappears, demanding a role in their daughter's life, her whole world is shattered. Luckily, Georgia's friends are there, sharing their own tales of intimacy, heartbreak, and miracle making. And when the unthinkable happens, these women will discover that what they've created isn't just a knitting club: it's a sisterhood. The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller Once again Sue Miller takes us deep into the private lives of women with this mesmerizing portrait of two marriages exposed in all their shame and imperfection, and in their obdurate, unyielding love. The author of the iconic The Good Mother and the best-selling While I Was Gone brings her marvelous gifts to a powerful story of two unconventional women who unexpectedly change each other’s lives. Meri is newly married, pregnant, and standing on the cusp of her life as a wife and mother, recognizing with some terror the gap between reality and expectation. Delia Naughton—wife of the two-term liberal senator Tom Naughton—is Meri’s new neighbor in the adjacent New England town house. Delia’s husband’s chronic infidelity has been an open secret in Washington circles, but despite the complexity of their relationship, the bond between them remains strong. The Linnet Bird by Linda Holeman Born into poverty in 1820s Liverpool, Linny Gow escapes the life of prostitution her stepfather has forced her into, learns how to be a young lady, and flees to India, where the British Raj is in its infancy. There she finds heartache and suffering, but also true love and freedom. A Taste of Death by P.D. James Two men lie dead in the vestry of a London church, their throats cut with brutal precision. One is Sir Paul Berowne, rich, cultivated and elegant; the other is an alcoholic vagrant. Challenged with the investigation of a crime that appears to have endless motives, Adam Dalgliesh explores the sinister web spun around a half-burnt diary and a violet- eyed widow who is pregnant and full of malice — all the while hoping to fill the gap of logic that joined these two disparate men in death . The Two of Us: My Life with John Thaw by Sheila Hancock A wonderfully vivid evocation of two lives lived to the fullest, Sheila Hancock’s compelling double biography of her marriage with actor John Thaw has been a bestseller worldwide. Spanish Fly by Will Ferguson A raucous tale of con men and grifters set in the dustbowl of the 1930s. Ferguson lives in Calgary. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle This is Peter Mayle's unforgettable account of the year he and his wife spent in the south of France. From dealing with fickle local contractors to handicapping goat races and sampling local culinary delights, A Year In Provence is an hilarious month-by-month record of the charms and frustrations of moving into an old French farmhouse. Hotel Pastis by Peter Mayle With his national bestsellers A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence, Peter Mayle gave new meaning to the phrase "great escape". Now he has written a delightful novel of romance, adventure, and tongue-in-cheek suspense, set in the beguiling French region he has staked out as his own. Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat In 1982, 16-year-old Marina Nemat was arrested on false charges by Iranian Revolutionary Guards and tortured in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. At a time when most Western teenaged girls are choosing their prom dresses, Nemat was having her feet beaten by men with cables and listening to gunshots as her friends were being executed. She survived only because one of the guards fell in love with her and threatened to harm her family if she refused to marry him. Soon after her forced conversion to Islam and marriage, her husband was assassinated by rival factions. Nemat was returned to prison but, ironically, it was her captor’s family who eventually secured her release. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky Determined to overreach his humanity and assert his untrammelled individual will, Raskolnikov, and impoverished student living in the St. Petersburg of the Tsars, commits an act of murder and theft and sets into motion a story which, for its excruciating suspense, its atmospheric vividness, and its profundity of characterization and vision, is almost unequaled in the literatures of the world. The best known of Dostoevsky's masterpieces, Crime And Punishment can bear any amount of rereading without losing a drop of its power over our imagination. The Famished Road by Ben Okri The narrator, Azaro, is an abiku, a spirit child, who in the Yoruba tradition of Nigeria exists between life and death. The life he foresees for himself and the tale he tells is full of sadness and tragedy, but inexplicably he is born with a smile on his face. Nearly called back to the land of the dead, he is resurrected. But in their efforts to save their child, Azaro''s loving parents are made destitute. The tension between the land of the living, with its violence and political struggles, and the temptations of the carefree kingdom of the spirits propels this latter-day Lazarus’s story. Dangerous Love by Ben Okri No description available Autobiography of a Geisha by Sayo Masuda (G. G. Rowley translator) Masuda's account of being a geisha in rural Japan at a hot springs resort is at once intriguing and heartbreaking. There is nothing idyllic in her description of geisha training or life between the world wars. Born in 1925, Masuda was sent to work for a wealthy landowner when she was five. At 12, she was sold to a geisha house for about 30 yen, the price of a bag of rice. During those years, Masuda writes, "I wasn't even able to wonder why I didn't have any parents or why I should be the only one who was tormented. If you ask me what I did know then, it was only that hunger was painful and human beings were terrifying." Originally published in Japan in 1957, where it is still in print, this book grew out of an article that Masuda, who didn't learn to read and write until she was in her 20s, submitted for a contest in Housewife's Companion magazine. Her picaresque adventures as a geisha, then mistress, factory worker, gang moll and caretaker for her young brother offer an impassioned plea for valuing children. "Never give birth to children thoughtlessly!" she writes. "That is why, stroke by faltering stroke, I've written all this down."
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