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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Book Club: Buddha in the Attic

Our second book club was at Mrs. Lulu’s house. Mrs. Lulu just purchased her home recently and along with her husband has been renovating it, so she gave us the grand tour. The house is adorable with period accents, coved ceilings and curved archways but my mouth dropped OPEN when we reached the backyard. Oh good golly it was gigantic for a yard in LALA land. LOVE IT.

After the tour we gathered around the dinner table, glasses of full wine curled in our hands, a full spread of yummy deliciousness to sample as we talked. Although we had a smaller group of women, only four attended, it was wonderfully intimate. I really love the mix of women we had, with one a new mother and three of us all trying to get pregnant we had quite a long lazy drawn out discussion about everything babies.

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Only after we were satiated with catching up did we turn our attention to the book “Buddha in the Attic” by Julie Otsuka. And a real love and hate book it was. I have to say that at first I had a very hard time trying to read this book. It is written in the third person, as in ‘we felt this’ or ‘some of us did that’, and this is the first book that I have ever read written this way. Once I got past the strangeness of the writing style I began to see a rich lyrical tapestry of these women’s lives unfolding. Although I didn’t connect with a person as I would if the book were written in the first person, nor did I get the factual view of the second person narrative, this use of the third person made me feel detached from the characters in the way that I feel disconnected from the events that are happening. But it was a fine line that Otsuka walked, I did feel a connection to the horrors and fear they felt but it was less personal.

I adore book club because I would have never have picked up this book. By allowing everyone in the group to choose something they like I get exposed to much more. I loved the book and am now excited to read the prequel “When the Emperor was Divine”.

Yeah for new books, great wine and a wonderful tribe of women.

2 comments:

Cortney said...

I'm so sad I missed this one! I hope you guys had fun and had a good discussion.

paul peggy zeus said...

I would have loved to belong to a book club. Guess I'll just have to share books with my mom and my two daughters and talk amongst ourselves about the content of the books.

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