Online book club

This year I joined my first ever virtual book club.

An old friend shared an article with a list of books and the subsequent chatter among her friend group led to the creation of an online book club.

My friend created a page on FB for the book club and invited anyone interested in reading from the aforementioned list of books, to join.

One book selected each month, a new thread to discuss each book at the end of the month – all the fun of reading and chatting about books without the hassle of finding an available evening in everyone’s varied schedules.

I loved the idea! The book list looked FABULOUS and so I joined enthusiastically.

The initial discussion on which book to read first illuminated a strange problem – half of the book group had read the article and scrolled down, down, down to the list of books attached at the bottom while the other half (of which I was a member) had clicked on a link at the beginning of the article and been whisked off to a new page and AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT LIST OF BOOKS! *theatrical gasp*

Once the issue was sorted out, and the correct list shared via a pinned post that all could easily access without accidentally going astray, we all agreed to stay in the group and read the books.

I’ve had mixed success with the list so far, the last one – which I downloaded on to my Kindle – I had such a hard time getting in to, I actually gave up and haven’t been back to check on the book clubs discussion or find out what this months book is supposed to be 😦 I don’t like giving up on books, but I don’t like forcing myself to slog through something if it’s never going to get better.

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Book Review: The Husband’s Secret

I went to NYC over Memorial Day weekend and spent a wonderful 3 days trekking around the city.

At JFK airport waiting for my flight home to Austin, I headed off in search of crisps (potato chips) and instead bought myself a book – ‘The Husband’s Secret’ by Liane Moriarty. 

I started reading while waiting at the gate for my plane to board and it pulled me immediately. 

‘The Husband’s Secret’ is a wonderful tale of what lies beneath the surface of the lives we present to the world.

 Happily married mother-of-three, Cecilia Fitzpatrick has her life completely worked out. She runs a successful business and manages her family life with grace and precision, and still finds time not to just be involved in the affairs of her small community but to play an important role in all school, church and civic events.

One evening, while her husband is out of town on business, Cecilia finds a letter amongst some old receipts. The envelope is addressed to her, to be opened only after her husband’s death. Should she open it? 

John-Paul Fitzpatrick has a secret, one he has kept for many years. If anyone found out his whole life, the life he has worked so hard for, would be turned completely upside down. One emotional night he confessed this secret in a letter he intended to be read only after his death. He had forgotten about the letter until his wife discovered it in an old box in the attic.

The letter will change everything, the repercussions will spread out to touch many other lives.

‘The Husband’s Secret’ is a juicy tale of love, lies and life. The characters are people you know, their day to day struggles so very real. The impossible situations they find themselves in, so painfully easy to envision.

Well written, with good measures of humor and drama. I will happily recommend this fast paced read to all my book loving friends, and to some random strangers.

Me Before You – A Review

Before my new book club picked this novel, I had heard the buzz EVERYWHERE. 

I despise spoilers, so I hadn’t read any detailed articles or reviews but it seemed that every time I went online, I saw friends, friends of friends, and complete strangers recommending ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes to anyone who would listen. So it was on my radar, and I added it to my mental TBR list.

I haven’t been to any meetings with my new book club (maybe it’s a little forward of me to claim it as my own, I should wait and give them time to meet and reject me first) but the friend who invited me forwarded the book choice email to me and I thought yay! Everyone is liking this book, I won’t be stuck reading some rubbish just so I can join in the discussion with my soon-to-be new best book buds.

That same day, another friend shared a link to a video and before I realised which movie it was related to, I clicked on the link and found myself watching the ‘Me Before You’ movie trailer. Oh, now I knew what the book was about… and honestly that premise seemed like something I’d seen before.

Undaunted I immediately bought the book for my Kindle so I could get started reading while the idea was at the front of my brain. If I’d put it off ’til later it would no doubt get lost under “buy stamps” and “swipe that cobweb at the top of the stairs.”

First the positive stuff: I really like the way Jojo Moyes writes. It’s easy to absorb, funny, and the story just carried me along. The main character, Lou, is great. Hugely likeable, and highly relatable.

The story itself, while an enjoyable enough read, was nothing new. The entire time I was reading I could not shake the feeling that I’d read this whole thing somewhere before.

SPOILER ALERT

The main character, Louisa, is a strange but lovable young woman who has never left her hometown and doesn’t think she has much going for her. She’s seemingly happy to accept her small life despite being jealous of her own sister, and having acknowledged the lack of passion, or even interest, in her own love life.

When Lou loses her job at the local cafe she almost accidentally finds herself hired to be the companion and caregiver to a young man who suffered a terrible injury causing him to be paralyzed from the chest down.

Will, the dashingly handsome quadriplegic, that Lou is hired to hang out with, does not want to live the rest of his life in a wheelchair and so very dependent on others for his every need.

Lou discovers that Will had previously attempted to end his own life, that he has a deal with his family that he will be allowed to do so at an already set future date, and that she is the last effort to change his mind and show him he still has a life worth living.

Line up the cliches!

  • Will used to live a very active life.
  • Will used to be a bit of a dick.
  • His parents are rich, so money is no object while trying to change his mind about death.
  • Lou’s family is the opposite of Will’s family – poor/rich – silly/snooty – express emotions/stick up their arse
  • Will’s sister doesn’t like Lou.
  • Will’s parents don’t have a happy marriage.
  • Lou has a scary event from her past.
  • Lou’s boyfriend doesn’t understand her.
  • Lou’s attempts to make Will enjoy his life leads to her seeing the potential in her own.
  • They fall for each other.

There were no plot twists that I didn’t already see coming from three quarters of a mile away.

I’m convinced that this story has been done before, and because of this, even though it was nicely written and not awful to read, I’m seriously disappointed.