Lit Ladies Report – March 2009

The first official meeting of the Lit Ladies Book Club kicked off last night at Julie’s house. I had no idea what to expect. Would we even talk about the book? Or was this just an excuse to drink some wine and chat. Well, we did talk about the book and everyone had interesting things to contribute and it was GREAT!  Our book to discuss was The Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeannette Walls. I’ve already blogged my “review” of the book, but it was so fun to hear other perspectives. Out of 12 members, we had the complete mix of “hated it,” “loved it” and everything in between.  I loved that Jami and Cara had done some follow up online and had more information to share about the writer through YouTube interviews and such. I plan to explore those myself, because it would be fun to see these “characters” come to life.

We all agreed to pick completely different genres for the next two months and decided that April will be The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield.  I heavily encouraged this ghost/mystery novel. I hope it’s good! For May we will read The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  

The Thirteen Tale has been compared to works by the Bronte sisters and has excellent reviews (with a few “hated its” thrown in).  Here’s what had to say:

“Settle down to enjoy a rousing good ghost story with Diane Setterfield’s debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale. Setterfield has rejuvenated the genre with this closely plotted, clever foray into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths. She never cheats by pulling a rabbit out of a hat; this atmospheric story hangs together perfectly.There are two heroines here: Vida Winter, a famous author, whose life story is coming to an end, and Margaret Lea, a young, unworldly, bookish girl who is a bookseller in her father’s shop. Vida has been confounding her biographers and fans for years by giving everybody a different version of her life, each time swearing it’s the truth. Because of a biography that Margaret has written about brothers, Vida chooses Margaret to tell her story, all of it, for the first time. At their initial meeting, the conversation begins:


“You have given nineteen different versions of your life story to journalists in the last two years alone.”


She [Vida] shrugged. “It’s my profession. I’m a storyteller.”


“I am a biographer, I work with facts.”

The game is afoot and Margaret must spend some time sorting out whether or not Vida is actually ready to tell the whole truth. There is more here of Margaret discovering than of Vida cooperating wholeheartedly, but that is part of Vida’s plan. The transformative power of truth informs the lives of both women by story’s end, and The Thirteenth Tale is finally and convincingly told.”

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2009 at 6:15 pm and is filed under Book Review. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply