Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Dream Book Club!

Hey world! What did I say? Here I am, posting again! I’ve been having a pretty good and busy week and although it’s only Wednesday it kind of feels like Friday because tomorrow is a holiday here in Brazil.

We just had one for Easter last week and we got Friday and Monday off so I was able to go on a trip with my best friends. I had a wonderful time, we went to this seaside town called Maresias that very differently from my own seaside hometown is basically a tourist town. That’s great because almost everything about the town is about making your stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible. My friend’s parents have a beautiful house there and that’s where all of us (16 people) stayed. We had a MAGICAL bonfire at the beach, my friend Paula brought her guitar and we sang the night away while eating all the kinds of fruit you can possibly imagine. The moon came out at exactly 9 in the evening and since we were only relying on firelight we could see all of it and all the stars in all their majesty, it was one of the most beautiful things I EVER saw. We also went to the beach, rode on the “banana boat” (fucking awesome), and went to the swimming pool where they had a water slide that we simply dominated. The children there were upset but do I look like I care about their feelings?   

Well, I’m writing this post because I wanted to update the blog more often and not only with opera stuff and not only with gigantic posts. I just finished reading the most endearing book and I wanted to talk about it a little bit.

The book has nothing to do with opera but it has everything to do with two of my great passions, romance and reading. It’s called “The Jane Austen Book Club” by Karen Joy Fowler and I read the whole thing in 5 days. I’m not a very healthy reader, if I really like the book and am truly intrigued by the plot and the characters I devour it! The bad part about it is that, just like a really intense and passionate fling you might have, it ends only too quickly. I ended reading it today while I was doing my physical therapy. I get very nervous and agitated while doing activities that don’t engage my mind, like squeezing a ball 15 times for 10 seconds, so I always try and do something else while engaging in these stupid activities (you should have seen me yesterday cutting tape pieces for my dad and trying to read at the same time).

Anyways I ended reading it in the middle of my shock session and I felt like crying! I’m such an emotional idiot but I kind of grew attached to the characters and kind of wanted to continue to get an inside scoop to their personal lives.

The plot is rather simple, Jocelyn decides to start a book club only to discuss the six novels written by Jane Austen. Jocelyn is almost 50 and unmarried, she brews dogs and has them do those dog competitions things and is a control freak and I suspect also a cleaning freak too. She invites to join her in her book club plans her very best friend since they were both 10, Sylvia. They are the same age but Sylvia is married with three children who are all grown up and have lives of their own. Just recently Sylvia’s husband, Daniel, asked for a divorce after almost 30 years that they had been together. Also joining the group we have a slightly older friend of Jocelyn's called Bernadette who has been married countless times and counts herself quite happy. Pruddie is the youngest, about 28, she’s happily married and teaches French for high schoolers. Allegra, who is a bit older than Pruddie, was only invited because she’s Sylvia’s daughter and quite frankly she was the character I least liked of all the main characters. And last but most certainly not least Jocelyn invited a lovely gentleman named Grigg to join them in the hope that he could set him up with Sylvia.

Six people, six books and six meetings. It’s funny because nothing astronomical happens during that specific time but the narrative (for each chapter it falls into one of these main characters) does loads of time leaps and narrates the lives of all of them. That was what made the book so goddamn addictive. I felt specially drawn to Jocelyn’s and Sylvia’s stories when they were younger and also Grigg’s back story. It’s a very feminine book because it pounders so much on the thoughts of 5 women and one man who was raised in a house that contained 4 females.

Contrary to what you might expect they don’t pounder upon Jane Austen all the time. It is brought up in healthy dosages but in no way it’s a rewrite of Jane Austen. It’s like a book illustrating the women whose lives Jane Austen has touched with her writing, real women with real problems. And also it’s about happiness, the pursuit of it, the realization of it and the loss of it. And if you haven’t read all of the six Jane Austen books or none of them it really doesn’t matter, they really serve as a background for their conversations and the plotline.

I came to an odd realization reading this book. I became quite upset about the whole divorce situation with Sylvia, especially after reading her story with her husband and I felt really bad for her, he left her. But there’s something quite odd underneath that, because, this is quite weird to explain but I’ll try. Her husband’s name is Daniel and I don’t know, I’ve always had a weird thing about that name. I’ve met my fair share of Daniels, I’ve already had a big crush on one, idolized another even picked it out from a very early age to be my child’s name. And I always seem to sympathize with every single Daniel I meet or even characters with that name, so I just couldn’t hate him. I was rooting for him to come back to Sylvia more than I was rooting for Allegra to be all right when she feel and was sent to the hospital. And also even though this Daniel from this book is about 50 the mental picture I had of him looked like Noah Bean (here’s a picture), his name was Daniel in the two things I ever saw him in, and you just can’t hate that face!

Anyways, yeah, I’m weird like that I guess but it’s a great book. They made a movie out of it but I haven’t seen it yet. So that’s it for today! I’ll see you guys soon, I’m taking my little sis to the movies tonight! Peace!

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