Saturday, February 21, 2009

February

This month, we met and discussed John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  I think the overall consensus was that we liked this book.  It was a very poignant tale compacted into a small, yet very powerful, novel.  The story of Bruno and Schmuel is one we will not soon forget.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is horrifying.  At first I felt that Boyne had wronged me; duped me into reading this tale of terror and heartache.   However, upon reflection I realized that I only had to read about these atrocities—6 million people had to live through them.  
That's where we started our discussion.  My opinion was that Boyne did a fantastic job of realizing the horror of the Holocaust through the eyes of an innocent.  Being that I purchased this book from the teen section at Chapters, I figured that Boyne thinks it is important for today's youth to remember the tragedy.  Boyne calls his work a fable.  I believe that this novel is also supposed to serve as a warning.  Too many people believe that the events of World War 1 and 2 simply cannot happen again—the human race is too smart.  I believe Boyne is suggesting that history has a terrible habit of repeating itself unless "fences" like the one in his book, are torn down.
This book sparked a great conversation about the horror of war.  It also sparked members of our club to discuss how our personal histories have been affected by war.  The members of our book club come from diverse backgrounds, and having a chance to hear a bit of each person's family history was very interesting.
Next month, we will be meeting on Monday, March 23rd, at 7:30 in our usual spot.  We selected a different day for March so that some of our luckier members can head off to warmer climates for March Break.  I implore you to bring the sun back with you!  If I have to look at this snow much longer, I am liable to have a breakdown.
For March, we are reading Chitra Divakaruni's The Mistress of Spices.  In April we will be reading Carlos Luis Zafòn's The Shadow in the Wind, and in May we are reading Emma Donahue's The Sealed Letter.  Since Donahue's local, I will send her an email soon via her personal website to invite her to join us!
Lastly, best thoughts and wishes to Lynne.  Please, please have your baby on my birthday! Or, if you can't manage to nail down the exact day (Mar. 3), please just know that we are all thinking about you.  Let us know as soon as you are settled and back on your feet if it was a boy girl, name, etc.  
See you all in March!