March Book Club report
April 25, 2018
By Anne Denning
“The sunshine gleams so bright and warm, The sky is blue and clear. I run outdoors without a coat, and spring is almost here. Then before I knew it, Small clouds have blown together, Till the sun just can’t get through them, And again, its mitten weather!!!”
This could have been written for Big Sandy this year. Our meeting was cancelled earlier this month due to bad roads and one month was skipped for the same reason. We are prepared for yet another storm in another day and then we have high hopes for spring to actually find us.
Meeting with our group is always a great way to get cheap therapy for “winter too long” feelings. This month we read ”Love and Other Consolation Prizes”, by Jamie Ford. Although Jamie was raised in Seattle he now lives in Great Falls.
This book is about a young, half Chinese boy who comes over to America to hopefully start a new and better life. To his shock and consternation he is raffled off at the 1909 Seattle World’s Fair. The story continues chronicling his life as he grew up, interspersed with chapters telling of his life, now grown. It is a complex book which portrays human vice and callousness to others, with utter devotion over years on the other hand. It educates us of the world of 1909, with women’s struggles to be equal, humans being treated like possessions to be sold or bought. It especially brings to life the not often told story of Chinese and Japanese children and how they were brought here to be slaves. It tells of some adapting and prospering and others trying to survive a cruel existence. We follow the twists and turns of Ernest’s life, our main character. In so doing we see the greys of that life mixed in with the black and white of right and wrong. Our group, led by Dee Pribyl, had a very good discussion about the book and also about how some of the abhorrent happenings back then, still occur now, if in a somewhat different form. Above all, I believe it tells the story of a love that goes through unbelievable disadvantages and tragedies to emerge still strong and unsullied by outer forces.
We , of course had our treats, with Georgia Baxter and Lil Foussard supplying delicious cream buns, pinwheel sandwiches and a creamy, delightful dessert.
Dee finished the evening with a game. We broke into two groups ( Big Sandy against Havre). Each group delved into the book to find five questions we thought would stump the other team. Back and forth the questions went—some easy and others teeny tiny details from the book!! I must be honest and say Havre won , whether by fair means I refuse to say. We all benefitted with prizes of marshmellow Easter eggs! What a lot of laughing and tense competition. It was a really fun and informative evening and a welcome respite from the doldrums of our slowly receding winter.
Our next meeting is May 8 at 7:00 at the library, with Karen Moes leading the discussion. The book chosen is,” A Reliable Wife” by Robert Goolrick. Feel free to join us, all are welcome and promised a fun evening!