Sunday, June 12, 2011

Book Club: Up From the Blue

Now that finals are over and school is out for summer, I am looking forward to summer reading... that is, reading everything I can cram into the weeks before fall quarter.  To kick off the reading extravaganza, we met for book club on Saturday evening at E's place.  She had come up with a few interesting discussion questions, sparking a lively conversation about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and the many ethical issues surrounding medical research.  We chatted about the book and sat around a coffee table full of yummy snacks prepared by our gracious hostess--cheese and crackers, grapes, cocktail sausages in a mini crockpot, deviled eggs, tiny tarts, and funfetti cupcakes fresh from the oven.  Not to mention, we enjoyed a few bottles of wine before continuing the fun at the bar across the street.

For next month, our pick is Up From the Blue: A Novel by Susan Henderson.  The debut novel tells the story of Tillie, who confronts her past and comes to terms with her family background as she experiences the birth of her own daughter.  We'll be meeting in July to discuss this selection.

via Amazon
From Booklist (via Amazon):
When Tillie goes into labor while her husband is overseas, she must turn to her estranged father for help. Seeing him brings up painful memories. Her childhood was defined by the conflict between her flighty, moody mother and taciturn, controlling father. Henderson shifts to the past and has young Tillie tell the story of how her father’s military position forces the family to move, after which her mother sinks into a deep depression and withdraws from her family’s life completely. Tillie cannot process why or how her mother has disappeared, so she places the blame on her father. Now, with the birth of her own daughter, adult Tillie must come to terms with how her father chose to protect her. Henderson shows remarkable compassion in her debut novel, an affecting portrait of depression through a child’s eyes. --Aleksandra Walker

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