Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Murderer's Daughters

Our first TCOB in the Highlander's new home!  Dating, breakups, marriage, divorce, new boyfriends, new kids, new houses, remodels, onward and upward!  We are either too cliche or have just been together too long.  Self-deprecation aside, Highlander, the new digs look terrific!  What also looks terrific is Red's new line of fine jewelry.  Custom cut topaz, rose gold, diamonds?!  Luckily it's gorgeous so El Jefe will forgive the spotty attendance record, knowing how hard you were working.
  Janna Conner Designs.  14K yellow gold "cubist" earrings with white topaz and diamonds.  Yes, please.

Over bangles and baubles, we snacked our way through caprese skewers and spanikopita, caught up on the month's gossip, and planned our birthday and Christmas lists. Then, on to burgers and a veritable smorgasbord of toppings: grilled onions, sauteed mushrooms, brie, avocado cream, and other lishy treats. And the controversial peach donuts for dessert. All the fun of a donut-shaped peach, none of the calories of a donut. Or wait, did we miss the fine print...

 Only 201 calories per.

 Our book this month, the Murderer's Daughters, was highly divisive.  There was a cluster in the 8's, a cluster in the 4's (overly dramatic!), with a smattering of less polarized votes in between.  Not counting the last-ditch downgrade to a 3 (talk about predictable), the book averaged out at 6.3.  Clearly that number doesn't tell the whole story.  What does tell the story, at least from the perspective of the low graders, is the sentiment that (and I quote) "I would rather have those hours of my life back than have wasted them reading this book."  Snap!  The low graders found the story soap opera-esque, annoying, and poorly written.  In particular, Merry's tap, tap, tapping on the scar left by her father's botched stabbing seemed to be an irritant.  Alas, although the physical wound healed, the psychological damage was incurable--but no sympathy for this victim from the naysayers!  For some reason, their troubled childhood did not evoke nearly the same heartbreak as the Glass Castle, which was offered in our discussion as a comparison.  On the other hand, the yeahsayers (?) loved the pulpy drama, the fast read, and the tragic characters.  While the group could not agree on whether Lulu and Merry were one dimensional or complex, we did agree that Merry's relationship with her father was tres strange (how could she forgive the very person who almost succeeded in killing her), and perfect little Drew's sudden appearance in Lulu's life was a bit much.  But, opinions and ratings aside, there was an especially poignant moment when it was revealed that this book held a personal meaning and connection for one of us, whose mother's own childhood years were spent in an orphanage.  After all, the author stated in the epilogue that she wished she could say that this book was fiction.

Please see last month's post for the August and September lineup.  There was a motion to move the August meeting one day later to the 5th.  If you have an objection to that, please send El Jefe an email.  Also if you can bring apps or dessert next month.  Until next time, beware the undead!