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March 2009 Archives

March 1, 2009

Midtown Bookclub: Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed -- Emily Giffin

Something Borrowed

From Indigo:
Rachel is an attorney living and working in Manhattan who has always been the good girl-until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend Darcy throws her a party. That night after too many drinks Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy''s fiancee. Although she wakes up determined to put the one-night fling behind her, Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for him.

As the September wedding date nears, Rachel has to choose. She discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren''t always neat, and sometimes you have to risk it all to win true happiness.

On the whole, our members were not impressed with Something Borrowed. They found the characters shallowly drawn and unlikable. Still, the discussion managed to be quite active, as a chorus of dislike.

We did find it a useful place to jump off into a discussion of life paths, and the expectations that women have vs. the realities of their lives.

The questions we used were partially based on the book group guide in the book itself, partially made up:

Did you think the characters were likable in general? What about Rachel, Darcy and Dex specifically? Did you like any of the supporting characters?

Did Rachel sleep with Dex because Rachel wanted it? Because Dex wanted it? Because it would hurt Darcy? All of the above?

Rachel does a lot of moral math on who betrayed who and basically comes up with Darcy as the evillest amongst the group. Did her math add up?

Is Rachel & Darcy's friendship genuine? Why does Rachel defend Darcy from attacks she basically agrees with?

Some editions include the first couple of chapters of Something Blue, covering the same ground from Darcy's perspective. Did you read them? Did they change your perspective?

How much does Rachel's self-image contribute to her relationship problems?

What's Dex's motivation in all of this? How much is he running to Rachel and how much is he running away from Darcy?

At what point does Rachel make decisions and take responsibility for the situation with Dex?

The Midtown Bookclub Reading List, including past, future and possible reads.

March 16, 2009

Ex-Midtown Bookclub: Late Nights on Air

Late Nights On Air

-- Elizabeth Hay

From the Publisher:
The eagerly anticipated novel from the bestselling author of A Student of Weather and Garbo Laughs.

Harry Boyd, a hard-bitten refugee from failure in Toronto television, has returned to a small radio station in the Canadian North. There, in Yellowknife, in the summer of 1975, he falls in love with a voice on air, though the real woman, Dido Paris, is both a surprise and even more than he imagined.

Dido and Harry are part of the cast of eccentric, utterly loveable characters, all transplants from elsewhere, who form an unlikely group at the station. Their loves and longings, their rivalries and entanglements, the stories of their pasts and what brought each of them to the North, form the centre. One summer, on a canoe trip four of them make into the Arctic wilderness (following in the steps of the legendary Englishman John Hornby, who, along with his small party, starved to death in the barrens in 1927), they find the balance of love shifting, much as the balance of power in the North is being changed by the proposed Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline, which threatens to displace Native people from their land.

On the whole, our group did not love this book, though a couple of people did. They felt strongly that it was missing a plot, and that the canoe trip, in failing to involve the some of the main characters in the novel, was an inadequate climax to the book. They also felt many of the characters failed to exhibit any real emotional growth, and that far too many more interesting stories were left unresolved in favor of an big finish that didn't seem to tie into the remainder of the book at all.

There was also a great deal of discussion about how much the perspective offered in the book was limited to a white outsider's view of things, and whether it was a deliberate, self-aware choice, or merely a result of the author's limited vision.

There was also a lot of confusion on basic plot points like who was sleeping with who, that might have been a deliberate effort on the part of Hay, but in the reading, it was less a tantalizing mystery and more an inability to keep track of what we were supposed to being tantalized by in this chapter.

About March 2009

This page contains all entries posted to acho que não in March 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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