Monday, April 8, 2013

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

The April 23 Book Club meeting will feature The Buddha in the Attic.  Please feel free to join us!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus was our March, 2013 Book Club discussion.  It appeared that most of those at book club didn't like the book and wouldn't recommend it, but some of us loved it immensely.

One person who said she didn't like the book said that she "trudged through" the book and felt it was scattered.  Another said she questioned what the characters are doing and how are they going to get involved.  Another said Bailey ties everything together but we don't find out about it until the end.  Someone said they felt that the character development never connected together.  One person said they would love to see a movie as she couldn't see it in her head.

Of those that liked it, they said that initially it was hard getting into the book.  "The more I got into it, the more I found I really liked it and her style of writing."  "It drew me in as I got going into it."  Another person said they read it awhile ago and re-read it again closer now to book club discussion.  She said it was so much better reading it a second time.  Another loved the circus tents that were different rooms, you could really feel like you were there, experiencing what they were feeling and seeing.  Another person couldn't be there, but she absolutely loved this book and felt it was a cross between Cirque du Soleil and a Stephen King novel.  We agreed it definitely fit the category of fantasy.

We enjoyed the night aspect of the book, that they met at midnight for dinner, along with the black and white theme.  We felt the romance between Celia and Marco had characteristics of Shakespeare books, like Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet.  The book used non-linear time line which made it confusing, you had to make sure you read the dates and times in front of the chapters.  Some felt there were too many flash backs.  We wondered could she have written it differently or through another perspective?  We thought it interesting that in the book, the twins and Bailey aged but not the rest of the circus performers.  We liked how it traveled and would just show up.  We liked the rêveurs and other outside characters like Herr the clock maker. 

"In the chapter titled:  The Wizard in the Tree, Barcelona, November 1894 I noted that "Secrets have power," Widget begins.  "And that power diminishes when they are shared, so they are best kept and kept well.  Sharing secrets, real secrets, important ones, with even one other person, will change them.  Writing them down is worse, because who can tell how many eyes might see them inscribed on paper, no matter how careful you might be with it.  So it's really best to keep your secrets when you have them, for their own good, as well as yours."  I like that in the book.  There were many secrets among the characters at this Circus and there are many secrets in magic.  Secrets create an intrigue, and I believe this book fit that well.