Friday Night Book Club – Little Bee

Tonight was my first-ever book club meeting, and oh, it was fun.

I was a little bit nervous.  My friend C. invited me to the club, and though I’d met most of the women on occasion, they were long time friends of hers.  But I felt immediately welcomed, and accepted as part of the group.

And what a lively group it was!  We gathered around the dining room table right away, and tucked into a rich quiche of spinach and feta cheese, a mixed green salad, and French bread which we spread with tiny pats of herb and garlic butter.  We passed wine back and forth across the table, and finished off with rich shortbread cookies and coffee.  Lots of laughing, talking, eating, and sharing of ideas.

But if you think the evening was nothing but frivolity, you would be mistaken.  We quickly got into a discussion of the book, which most of the group praised unequivocally.  We all agreed that Sarah was somewhat shallow and impulsive, and that her action on the beach was kind of surprising and perhaps not altogether unselfish.  We loved Little Bee’s humor, her patience, her desire for a better life and her resignation when she knew it was not be.  We deplored the kinds of conditions from which she escaped, and remarked upon how little we knew of the atrocities of the world, how sheltered we had been.

We complained about the men in the book – the men in general (as in the ones Little Bee so feared), and Lawrence and Andrew in particular, for their weakness’ and selfishness.

We read our favorite passages aloud and talked about why they were meaningful.

It was everything good I imagined a book club could be.

I’m so pleased to have been part of it.

 

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9 thoughts on “Friday Night Book Club – Little Bee

  1. I’m glad it was such a good experience for you, Becca. There is nothing like a good book club. I have the privilege of belonging to two and they are two of the high spots of my month. I also attend a third which is more problematic because we have one member who is determined to trump or ridicule the other people there. As it’s a public group there is very little we can do about it and it is beginning to put others off. A real problem.

    • I think getting the right mix of personalities is key. Because I was new to this group, I was a bit nervous about fitting in. But everyone was respectful of each other’s opinion, and that’s very important.

  2. I’m delighted you had a lovely time, but I couldn’t have read the book. I’m not fond of violence(like you!) but my response is to feel unfairly manipulated by it. It’s like: what will really put the wind up a reader? Violence involving children. So let’s make up a spurious story, that is highly unlikely to occur, but will reach in and tear the gentle heart of out of the sensitive reader. This is probably a totally unfair reconstruction of the author’s/editor’s thought processes, but I get very mistrustful of sensationalist literature, and think that the mark of a quality novel is to explore a difficult topic with care and respect and caution.

    • I completely understand your viewpoint, and we discussed that very thing somewhat last night. We all agreed the plot was rather contrived in order to get the author’s point across. I did not “love” the book, as many in the group seemed to. It gave us a lot of interesting things to discuss, though, which made it a good pick for a book club!

    • I’m sure having the right mix of people is really important. This was a fun group – smart, opinionated, but respectful. We were all women of similar ages and experiences too, but our personalities were of course, all very different.

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