A Good Home, Arabella Magazine, Author Cynthia Reyes, Book Clubs, Book lovers, Books, Books in the Garden, Gardens

Books, Gardens and Bob Marley

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.

Blog Photo - Book Club 1 2014

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!)

Blog Photo - Book Club Pool and Rock Garden

Blog Photo - Book Club Pond

 The club met in this garden in the countryside near Toronto.

Blog Photo - Book Club Lunch Preparations

Blog Photo - Book Club Linda with tray

Host Linda went all out to capture the Jamaican theme of A Good Home’s early chapters.

Blog Photo - Book Club Table Setting

She set the table in tropical colours.

Blog Photo - Book Club Table Setting CU

With colourful namecards.

Blog Photo - Book Club Name Card

And look at that coconut tree!

Blog Photo - Book Club Under Cocunut tree

As befits a book-club lunch in a garden, Shirley wore red and Sandy wore green.

Blog Photo - Book Club Shirley and Sandy

Members shared news. Joan and others took turns looking at photos of Linda and husband Daryl’s newest grandchild.

“What a sweet little face!”

Blog Photo - Book Club Linda shows Pic of Grandchild

It was time for lunch. A Jamaican menu, of course: jerk chicken, rice ‘n’ peas and a salad.

Blog Photo - Book Club Chicken and Rice

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”.

Blog Photo - Book Club and Daryl

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.

Blog Photo - Book Club Iron Heron

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!

Blog Photo - Arabella SpringSummer2

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.

Blog Photo - Book Club discussion

‘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!

Blog Photo - Book Club and Cynthia

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.