Saturday, April 2, 2016

Playing Catch Up

When you live in Canada, winter weather can sometimes interfere with your plans and that is what happened in February. We were all set to meet at Heather's house for a great discussion about her book pick, The Girl on the Train, when the snow and ice ended up keeping us all at home. So this month we did double duty and discussed both our February and our March books.

The girl on the train had mixed reviews. It was agreed by most of us that the story had an impaired narrative structure. It was hard to keep the shifting time frames and narrators straight which took away from the story. The book received a 6.0 out of 10 on the low end and a 9.0 on the high end from Tony:

"I really enjoyed this book. I thought the author did a masterful job setting up the premise and pace of the story‎, using an almost diary-like mode as the day began or ended for each character. The flashbacks in time made sense, developing both story and characters. With most stories, I find the middle drags with unnecessary details or plot lines, and this has a little of that - her sexual liaison with the grieving husband makes no sense to me, for her or for him - but it finished well and all the pieces fit nicely into the puzzle. I would rate this book as 9/10. "

Overall our book club rated The Girl on the Train a 7.25 out of 10.

Our next discussion centered around our March book that was chosen by Beatrice, Water for Elephants.

Old fashioned and endearing, the author brought to life with vivid text a beautiful and engaging story of a bygone era. Filled with colorful characters and shocking realities, this book kept the interest of our group from start to finish.  An overall rating of 8.7 out of 10 puts this book near the top of our list!

Tony's thoughts:

"I also enjoyed this book, with one caveat - do we ever learn why you don't carry buckets of water to the elephant? The characters are readily visible on the page, the story line is consistent, and the flash forwards to the old man Jacob provide poignant and comic relief. The author ties a nice bow at the end of the story - you can just imagine this guy wobbling with his walker across the street to the circus! I would rate this book 9/10."

Next month's pick by Renee is When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalinithi.  Will you join us?