Book Clubs ~ sustenance for mind, body and soul

Tonight I had the privilege of being a guest at a local Central Coast book club which had chosen Collision as their book. We met at Tuggerah Thai restaurant.

They have been meeting for six or seven years, initially pre babies and now negotiating families and work, which is a fantastic feat of juggling and commitment!

Taking time for a well-deserved break in their busy schedules sustains mind, body and soul. I love that their book club is their “adult” time out every six weeks to share friendship, a meal, a laugh and chat about a book. It reinforces and honours “me time”…busy mothers shouldn’t put themselves last! Reading is a delicious escape, and each snatches moments at lunch time, by the pool, while the children nap or at night, just before they themselves fall asleep.

One reader takes a turn to choose a book for the club and be “in charge” of that discussion. Alicia, who chose my book, was relieved that I even emailed suggested questions!

After emphasising I sought honest opinions, interesting perspectives abounded. As we caught up, ordered and shared a delicious food, Alicia led the discussion. Melissa was intrigued about my initial stimulus to write a book. A few agreed with Sabrina who found the teen character Stella was self-absorbed with a sense of entitlement. Several were sympathetic to the father and stepmother characters, relating to their own stage of life as parents. Tara empathised with the blended family dynamic, commenting that Stella may well have felt left out with two new baby step brothers. While some knew the Macleay Valley, no-one was familiar with the book’s historical period. Kelly in particular was ¬†fascinated with the history of Trial Bay and the WWI German internees. Deb was initially uncertain about the flashbacks to the past, then was drawn into the interwoven family relationships. Alicia generally chooses escapist, easy reads and was happily surprised to like this Young Adult novel.

A touching bonus was witnessing their belated Christmas gift-giving of a book for each member ~ secret Santa style!

Thanks again to these lovely women for their warm welcome and offering up their insights.

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