Wow, was this a powerful book! The nine short stories were described by one member as “slices of life and not the pleasant slices either.” I think it was Jessica who said that these are the things you wouldn’t volunteer to tell someone else about yourself and Jennifer who added that these are the things that heavily influence who you are.
We discussed a bit about Lahiri herself, and how her own feelings of alienation are transformed into more universal feelings through her stories. Although this book is about the Indian and Indian-American experience, we also felt that it was about all immigrant experiences and about all people as well.
We closed our discussion by asking a few questions from the game Table Talk: The Book Club Edition (which was a gift to me from Nancy – thank you!) One question asked each member to sum up the book in one word. Some of the words we chose were: human, powerful, heart-wrenching, and realistic.
Although there were only 10 members at the meeting (plus Melissa’s mom who was in town), 11 people actually read the book. Here’s a recap of the ratings:
- Nancy = 9
- Carrie Ann = 8
- Jessica = 7
- Kelli = 9
- Amy = 8
- Melissa = 9.5
- Beth = 9
- Lenore = 8
- Jennifer = 8
- Heather = 9
- Cyndi = 7
That is an average of 8.3.
A few gals mentioned that it is very difficult for them to give a book either a 9 or a 10, because they feel that it should be the best book ever written to get that rating. So those 8s are really high praise coming from them!
My recap of this meeting will be posted over at ReadingGroupGuides.com later this week. I'll come back and add a link to it once it goes up. And if you'd like to read my review of this book on my blog, click here.