Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 2010

Holly chose "A Northern Light" by Jennifer Donnelly and we gave it 4 1/2 stars.  We had a delightful lunch at the Beehive Tea Room in downtown Salt Lake City at 12 W Broadway.

Leslie says: A delightful read.
My thoughts at the end were regarding the author's summary of the actual trial. She said that people in the courtroom wept as they heard the letters read aloud. I thought about how tragic it is that under similar circumstances, those letters probably wouldn't inspire weeping today. In a world where someone shoots another man in the face four times because he got lawn mower clippings blown on his clothing as he walked down the street, we are absolutely desensitized to this kind of murder. In comparison it seems almost gentle. So sad to not be moved to tears by this woman's horrible fate. I think it is a very good thing to be reminded of different times, in the context of a novel that helps us really connect with the characters and feel more for them than we might if we read the story in the newspaper.

Sue says: This book is based on a true murder case in New York that was then novelized in "An American Tragedy" by Theodore Dreiser. I read that book several years ago and it was very interesting as Dreiser delved into modern ideas of psychology to explain Chester Gillette's actions. This book tells the story of a teenage girl working at the resort where they stayed and how the life of Grace Brown, the deceased girlfriend, intersects with hers. It is a powerful story of women and their emergence as writers and includes many fun literary references. Mattie struggles to resolve the divide she sees between having words and having love. She repeatedly comes face-to-face with real-life examples of having to choose and it scares her. It finally scares her into actions that she will regret and some she will prize.
Quotes I liked: "She wasn't what he wanted; he wanted Daisy. But he couldn't have Daisy, so he finally took what was offered. Like we all do."
"I know it is a bad thing to break a promise, but I think now that it is a worse thing to let a promise break you."
"Jane Austen ruins you for farm boys and loggers."