Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bookgroup

Six years ago, several women I know started a bookgroup. It was held a few days after the boys came home from the NICU so I didn't go to that first meeting. Graciously they consider me an honorary founder.

Membership has grown and shrunk. We had a professor with us for a while but she agonized when she didn't read a book. Several women used moving away as a reason to join other bookgroups. One was quietly suffering that we were, well, women who liked to talk about our lives, drink and eat more than either read or talk about the books. She graciously joined another bookgroup and explained it was just easier since everyone lived in her town. The other suffering soul was a bit more vocal, even going so far as to tell that her new book group didn't allow alcohol. To me that defeats the purpose.

Tonight we met up at the home of a woman who is 38 weeks pregnant with her second child. She went into labor the day after hosting us 2 1/2 years ago and hopes we'll bring her "the same luck" again. The book this month was Saturday by Ian McEwan. We read another novel of his, Atonement, a couple of years ago. I have less than 100 pages to go in Saturday and it feels like plodding through mud. I remember the visceral, angry reaction I had to Atonement. Three years later I can still recall the him marching through the French country side, fighting the war, waiting in the cafe. To have it end the way it did was infuriating. I feel like I'm walking the plank again.

But then, what did our group talk about tonight? Two of us had finished the book and loved it (neither of them had read Atonement), two of us were in the midst and two hadn't picked it up (there are 4 other regulars who all had conflicts tonight). We talked about babies, movies, work, the new Governor (oh we are SO excited about that one), food, birth stories, twins, other books, Thanksgiving, wine....

It is what I wish for all of us. A group of friends who get together regularly to talk, laugh, support and sustain. And if a book is involved, you feel literary. But if you walk out feeling like you can face another month, even better.

2 comments:

Kate said...

That's a nice post. It's so true. Get a bunch of women together and we can talk about anything. Sometimes the topics drive the conversations themselves.

Jenn said...

Hrmm.

Maybe I should join some sort of group. You know, aside from everyday stuff.

So I don't lose all my social skills and become totally consumed by whatever I am pursuing intellectually.

I think about that one.