I can barely describe how marvelous it is to be the author-guest of a book club again.
I’ve been mostly at home since November – doctor’s orders – rarely venturing out.
But last year I’d accepted two book club invitations for this spring-summer and I really hoped to be able to carry through. Well, hooray! I did.
The first was hosted by Samantha (left) at her lovely Toronto home, where a very animated discussion took place about A Good Home. The members knew the book very well, and were prepared for a great discussion. I loved being with them.
Thank you, ladies.
The second was The Ladies Literary Liquid Lunch. (Great name!)
The club met in this garden in the countryside near Toronto.
Host Linda went all out to capture the Jamaican theme of A Good Home’s early chapters.
She set the table in tropical colours.
With colourful namecards.
And look at that coconut tree!
As befits a book-club lunch in a garden, Shirley wore red and Sandy wore green.
Members shared news. Joan and others took turns looking at photos of Linda and husband Daryl’s newest grandchild.
“What a sweet little face!”
It was time for lunch. A Jamaican menu, of course: jerk chicken, rice ‘n’ peas and a salad.
Daryl cheerfully manned the barbecue and played Bob Marley music — of course! That led other book club members to declare him “a hard act for other members’ partners to follow”.
The club started “between 14-15 years ago” after one woman, Terri, posted a notice in the local library.
It’s an interesting group — from accountant Linda, to psycho-therapist Pam. There’s realtor Joan, retired businesswoman Denny and several others.
Surprisingly, I discovered mutual acquaintances — like Debra Usher, my editor at Arabella Magazine.
It was through Denny’s local store in their small town that I got my first copy of Arabella, before the magazine even started publishing my feature stories. And here I was, meeting Denny in person and sharing that story with her!
Pam, I discovered, is a member of the Heron clan of Heron Road in Ashburn, northeast of Toronto. I know the Heron family’s beautiful original homesteads.
There’s a democratic quality to the LLLL club. Every year, each member gets to choose one book for the club to read.
‘Course, there was that time, earlier on, when everybody read and loved a well-known book. Then, Pam, who’d been silent, announced that she simply hated the protagonist.
Then there was the meeting where everyone had read the same book, but had mysteriously different ideas about the plot and characters. Partway through, they realized they were discussing three different books, all with the same title!
The group enjoys books, and each other. They’ve even traveled together at times.
It’s yet another benefit of books – bringing people together.
As for A Good Home? The women had many questions, which I hope I answered somewhat intelligently.
And they loved the book. Thank goodness!
Dedicated to book club members everywhere.