A Pox on Plague Stories

July 2013 Bootleg Meeting @ Mary’s House
Liz – vacationing; Sue – working; all others attending! (sans Hege)

HAPPY 60th, MARY!
MARY TIME:  60 facts that make you smile or blush; balloons & flowers, too

CHATTER:  frat/sorority life – ours & kids’ choices; MaryKay cosmetics & other ponzi schemes to avoid; [other stuff that Katie didn’t feel like writing down]

PICK:  Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Year-of-Wonders-610831

Karen C. picked it because the lady across the street suggested it, then another friend liked it – 2 hits from 2 respected readers!

COMMENTS:

-many friends said to us, ‘what, you’re just reading that now?’ Snobs.

-great writing…no surprise given the author
-more back or side story  needed, badly.  Yes, they isolated themselves but the lack of contrast to other settings (London, a similar small town, other?) made this lose it’s compelling sense of sacrifice or even decent sense of timing
-we wished we’d felt better informed about the era after completing the book, but it was so isolated and overly dramatic by the end, that it was a wash
-Brooks was trying to make modern political/feminist statements & not just writing a good story & this was very distracting; Anna was too modern
-book was tense & had good focus throughout but the end was like a soap opera
-Arabia?  Really…she makes it to Arabia on a wing and a prayer?
-ending SO implausible (and not in the good Disney way)…we wanted it left to the reader to imagine the rest of the story once the reverend’s ‘true’ character was (SO poorly) revealed = usually we want an epilogue, but not like this one!
-Afra (stepmom) goes crazy..what was that snake?  Group hysteria?
-LOTS of foreshadowing of Eleanor’s death…too much?
-was the dialect good enough? or too contemporary?  Ye olde scholar needed!
-Brooks actively promoting atheism?  seemed to try to convince us that thinking scientifically is always better than praying – not true to the period, right?
-lead mining:  caught us off-guard; a completely dif. type of horrifying!
-Dad’s death – most graphic part of whole novel…why?

CASTING:
Anna – Jennifer Lawrence
Eleanor – Blake Lively (does she have the chops?  maybe…)
Rev. Montpelier – Keanu Reeves (Katie campaigned for him: suckily written character for a sucky actor)
Afra – Helena Bonham Carter (duh)

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