Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin

The group of eleven book club members varied on whether they liked the book or were frustrated with it.  One member could not finish it .  One person said they liked "the author's descriptive writing style" and another said she liked "the short chapters and that the story was told from a variety of perspectives."  One person said "they had a hard time getting into the story, though she agreed that the writer was able to craft colorful descriptions of characters and settings."  One member found the cast of characters interesting, also and another said the strong female characters were appealing.  Some of the members said that they were disappointed with the ending, and another said she was frustrated with the lack of closure in the ending.  One member said was a good effort for a first time author.

There were three themes members noted through the story.  The first was the interweaving of tenderness and violence, cowardice and courage.  The second theme was the exploration of the difference between solitude and loneliness and the third was how traumatizing experiences early in life affect the remainder of one’s years.

One thing that some found frustrating was how the failure to communicate resulted in so many avoidable problems. For instance, Talmadge often withheld information from Angelene, supposedly to shelter her. But it ended up causing her far more angst than the truth would have had he been more forthcoming.
One member pointed out that the Nez Pearce Indians seemed accurately portrayed. They traditionally were very good with horses, and were partial to Appaloosas.

Thanks again to one member who brought apples, plums, and apliums (a cross between an apple and a plum) to share. Very much in keeping with the orchard theme of our book! Another also treated us to some of the harvest from her garden, in the form of delicious chocolate chip zucchini cookies.

A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison

What a great discussion we had with this book.  It brought out the discussion of sex slavery which is prevalent all through out the world.  There were fourteen of us at book club, one person didn't read it, but all of us thought it was a good book to read and learn from.  It was very well written, someone shared and we agreed.

One person commented "How helpless the girls were, they  have no control over their future, lose faith."  The author could have been more graphic and he didn't go there; it is horrifying on it's own, it doesn't need help."  Another said that if it gets too graphic I'm not reading it, but she said the instant they lost their parents, wanted to find out what happened.  Someone said "I love books about India, colorful with foods & smells, do I want more description of the horrible things?"  

The question many of us had was "what can we do about this?"  "The girls are like commodities, they just keep on giving and in this book, they all came out ok."  This book raises awareness of the issue and we can talk and have conversations about it.  "You can get invested in it, and see from their heart that things need to change."  The women were also supporting each other a lot of times in this book.  

We liked the storyline with Thomas in it.  We talked about him not having control over his daughters death and then witnessing the kidnapping, but there was control in what he was doing with this search.  We liked that the author added the quote "Someone once asked Mother Teresa how she dealt with world poverty.  Do you know what she said?  'You do the thing that's in front of you."

We liked the blue lotus flower that Ahalya planted for Sita.  It means purity, rebirth, divinity, unstained and awakening to spiritual reality.  Ahalya gave her baby the name of the lotus flower.  We liked that Thomas had a bracelet, a daily reminder, a brother - to forge on to find Sita.