April 2017 Meeting @ Shelley’s House (we miss you, Karen C…)
- Liz’s NC property woes (wood rot)
- Day of the Book – good crowds, less well-known authors, lots of fantasy & kid books, Read to a Dog station, Poetry Tent (packed all day…who knew?), music
- Bethesda Lit Festival as Competition – meh: all indoors, spread out, 3 days, not family fun (true literati only?)
- T-shirts: self-printing iron-on = yes! w/a brief ‘remember when’ nod to puffy paint
- Velcro on the fireplace remote: Ron B Designs – available for hire (if you dare)
- Move stacks of wood or go to the gym = equal options (less driving for wood…)
- chimney sweeps – bad reps (except for Bert); yet needed 1x per decade, please…
- Viviane’s wrist PT: ‘distraction’ = LYING! SO painful. When the PT switches to Spanish you know the pain is coming. Marie concurs (for English-only), too.
- LONG DIVERSION – innocent start: Karen S, is there baby news? All too soon: Red Tent 2.0… we all have a story or two or more (and some TMI tendencies)
- Mary’s brother’s well engineered marching sign…weatherproof, too!
- wedding blues – Kitty’s daughter’s new mom-in-law WILL NOT host rehearsal dinner…bucking protocol not acceptable (wait…is she more Bootleg than we are?)
- Shelley’s ravioli spinach alfredo – a surprisingly light and delish delight! Ditto on Marie’s mini cheesecakes and hand-dipped strawberries. yum.
- Viviane and Shelley: founders of the George Clooney is Meh Club
The BOOK: The Possibilities by Kaui Hart Hemmings
Marie picked it because she was looking for library-available books. She liked The Descendants and the light and frothy Hemmings title was not available. Decided this was an okay option (beyond availability) because several Bootleggers are having hard times and this was a ‘meet you where you are in hard times’ book…maybe more of a fit for these moods/states of mind than something silly.
- a very real and close look at one version of grief
- unimaginable situation for parent – some of us ‘didn’t really want to go there’
- appealing characters and easy to connect with or at least recognize as ‘real’
- dialogue had nice flow; ditto speech mannerisms
- noticeably low on physical descriptions; Billy & Kit had a bit than others (this was preferred by most)
- Sarah’s return to work scenes were painful, real, amusing – Hemmings either knows that biz or interviewed somebody in it (NOTE to Jane Smiley: that’s how you do satire)
- Sarah’s dad: quirky funny mix of real Dad Behavior + solid albeit skinny thread of retirement choices theme
- some/many of the scenes/encounters were quite amusing, realistic or both
- some of us did not like being in main character’s head – esp. for so long
- book plot and ‘something else’ kind of fell apart at the 7/8 mark
- though some thought the ending was very good (go home and consult with your actual family about what to do)
- 1 (maybe more) suggested the ‘real’ problem – parental grief – was waylaid by the baby discussions; the first topic was sufficient for a book (and was not well resolved by the change of focus)
- too much drama of all sorts
- sex scenes were bad/dumb/purposeless and skip-worthy
- the slow roll out of Cully’s dad (Billy) as a solid person, good father was well done over the course of the book; nice, comforting thread
- parallels between Kit’s and Sarah’s lives were a bit too convenient
- the setting was not a character, but it was so key (in many good ways) to character arcs and plot points
- Suzanne and Sarah – their friendship had strong points, but was odd in some ways…and why did Sarah have to keep saying how it was almost a point of pride that neither of them expressed their true positive feelings for each other?
- some of us agreed this was written to become a movie; it rang falsely…not coming from the heart
NEXT BOOK: Hillbilly Elegy (Shelley’s pick; she has 4 copies to share)
NEXT MEETING: 7:!5 on May 31st @ Liz’s (who never would assign herself May…)