Book Club: MWF Seeking BFF

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{pic from the author’s website, go buy the book so she won’t get mad at me for stealing images!}

Book Club Score: we didn’t give scores this month as the author was in the house, but we all went around and talked about sections of the book that every one connected with.
My Score: N/A – see below.

Book club this month had a special twist – the author of our selection joined us! Rachel Bertsche was an absolute doll, a ball of friendly and funny energy, and she clicked immediately with our book club. We were thrilled to have her and our conversation about the book was all the more interesting because she shared what other books clubs thought as well. Having her there was like a crowd-sourced answer session with girls all over Chicago.

 

I should note that I didn’t read the book yet as I was nervous it would make some big life changes more scary. More on that to come, but I’m thrilled to pick the book up after every single girl in my book club said, “You have to read this book. It’ll make any situation with girls and new friends easier.”

As a twenty-something author, all of us were in awe of her humility despite having written a book! Especially in the digital age, that a freaking BFD. Big Effing Deal. I think we were all surprised that we’d each experienced things similar to what was in the book and struggled with the same challenges – finding our post-college tribe of friends. 

Go buy the book – MWF Seeking Bff – read for your book club and laugh with girl friends, new and old. Then say hi to the author on her blog, Twitter or in person at book events all over Chicago and other cities. 

Have you read the book? Did you struggle with finding girl friends and navigate a similar landscape as Rachel does in her book? Leave a comment, I’m fascinated to hear other girls’ perspectives!

 

 

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Book Club Book Review – The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain – buy on Amazon, or run to your local book store! 

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{pic from Random House’s page for The Paris Wife}

Book Club Scores – 7-10

My Score – 8-9 (gut-wrenching at times, but couldn’t put it down!)

This book is about Ernest Hemingway’s life with his first wife, Hadley. The story starts in St. Louis and Chicago which appealed to our lovely midwestern group of girls. It was fun to read about places that we know, we’ve walked some of the streets that the characters walked in the book. Four of the ladies in the book group have recently traveled in France, so they enjoyed reading about places they’d seen in the past year. The places and spaces in the book set the stage for a tumultuous and doomed love affair. 

McLain does a great job of putting the reader inside Hadley’s shoes, but, interestingly, our group was split on whether she was a strong woman willing to fight for her relationship, or a weak woman that let’s her husband walk all over her. Three-quarters thought weak, I thought she was strong and wanted to fight for what she believed in – her relationship with Hemingway.

I’m not going to go into more detail, but the book comes highly recommended from our group. Even the girls that gave the book low ranks (7) said they would recommend the book. The biggest negative expressed about McLain’s novel is the discomfort and disgust for what was contained in the book. Can’t blame the book for that! But I’ll warn you, there will be moments where the foreshadowing will make you want to walk away from the book altogether because you always know what the end result is of Hadley and Hem’s life together.

I was advised by other members to read Hem’s The Moveable Feast, his writing about the period. I’ve already read The Sun Also Rises, also written at the time, and traveled to Madrid, but check that out too if you haven’t read it!

Have you read the book? Is Hadley strong or weak?

The question the drove the most discussion – would you have A) walked away from the relationship as soon as you knew what Hadley knew? Or, B) would you stick around and fight for the relationship?