Monday, September 14, 2009

Ye-AH!! 38th Ave, Diva's Are Back in Business!!

After all most eight months( January 09), 38th Ave Divas Book Club finally met for the first time in months. This is our 4th going on 5th year. Due to illnesses, deaths, personal problems finally the book club came back together for the first time today.

I was not sure if it was going to happen. I have not heard from any one in quite awhile. A few members were not happy with the books picked. This time, I told everyone to bring with them three books and pick a date and month and a book. We did not pick for the year. That may have been the problem.

One thing I have learned from organizing and keeping us together. Not every book club is the same you have to hit it by trial and error. Just like people are individuals so are book clubs. Just because one club says it was successful doesn't mean it will work for you.

On to the book club. We discussed Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult. A few people were not happy with the book picks. So, I decided what author will draw people in? Easy Jodi Picoult. Her books get you talking about the books. I was right. It sure got every one talking.

Topics covered was heart transplant, death penalty, religion, miracles, politics, messiah, and most definitely salvation. All these topics were in the book.
Every book that the author writes is a jumping board to discuss for hours.
Alot to talk about and debate.

The book is about a convicted prison that is on death row. He would like to save his soul( we think). He has always been in trouble. His last act he would like to save a little girl. There is one catch, the girl,is the family members that he has killed before. He shot and killed the girl's step-father and sister.
The only way that he can give he's heart to the young girl is to die on the gallows not lethal injection.

The story is taken with several characters point of view. What happens it a little far fetched, several miracles happen. Water turns to wine, One of the cell mates has remission with AIDS, the bird comes back to life. Gum that she have only been for one prisoner was able to to last for seven or eight prisoners. A bit far fetched wouldn't you say. You know what I am leading to, don't you?

The biggest point the mother had a hang up about that her child if she gets Shay's heart will her daughter develop the same characteristics as him.

It turns out we find out later in the book. That Shay is a fixer upper for the family and finds that the step father is molesting the the daughter that Shay killed. He feels he is saving her.

When Shay was younger as a child he was living in foster care with his sister. He's sister was being molested by the foster father. She could not take it any longer. We think Shay was responsible for the fire, but we learn it is he's sister that started the fire. He keeps wanting to save people and not speak up.

There is a quote about salvation and religion.. It reads

There is a law in this country that says the state has to let your practice your own religion, as long as it doens't interfere with the safety in the prison. There also a law in NH that says even though the court has sentenced you to die by lethal injection, which wouldn't allow you to donate your heart... in certain circumstances, death row inmates can be hanged insteand. And if you're hanged you'd be able to donate organs.

Another note, Judiasm.
For Jews, repentence is about conduct-you realize you've done something wrong. you resolve to change it in the future. But teshuvah means return. Inside each of us is some spark of G-d-- the real us. It's there whether your're the most pious Jew or the most marginal. Sin, evil, murder- all those things have the ability to cover up our true selves. Teshuvah means turning back to the part of G-d that's gotten concealed. When you repent, usually you feel sad- because of the regret that led you there. But when you talk teshuvah about making the connection with g-d again- well it makes you happy. Sins separated you from g-d and distance always makes the heart grow fonder.

We did a few discussions questions, that made us question why did Shay not fight. We thought he was resigned to his fate. From the beginning to the end. He was it seemed just interested in saving people not saving himself. Including his sister. We thought he was the hero. But I also thought the priest was the hero. He brought Shay his own happiness, his death and salvation of his soul to save the girl.

Our book club enjoyed discussing this book we could sit there for hours but we had to go home some time to our familes. If you would like to see what TNYT felt about this book you can read the review here.

Me, myself I did not think it was a great literary piece. But, it had alot to say. Brought alot of debate and discussion. This is what you expect from Jodi Picoult. I am disappointed that the author felt she had to use the same material as Stephen King's Green Mile. I like to read books that make your juices flowing.

38th St Diva's we Are Back In Business...Until next time 38th Ave, Divas Happy Reading!!

Oh, by the way these are the book picks we have picked up to January.
October we are reading Guersney Literary Peel Pie Society.
November we are reading Sarah's Key and December we will read Zookeeper's Wife, and January we will read James Patterson's Crosse's Trial.

Keep those pages flipping...


Tara said...

I can see that this was a great book to discuss with your book club!

Diane said...

I just came across your blog today; i'll be back :)

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

The books you've picked for the next several months are very "discussable" (I haven't read the Patterson, but I feel it's true for the 1st 3 you listed, anyway).

I hope your group continues to meet on a regular basis. Yes, it takes a while to form a cohesive group.

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