Secret Women’s Business (Book Groups)

25 Oct

For three years now, my book group has convened once a month. A highlight of our gatherings has been the habit of our leader, Trish, to dress according to the titles chosen – when the mood takes her.

The first year, we had a member with a very dry taste in books. She never actually came to book group, but she chose two earnest tomes, which the rest of us dutifully attempted to wade through. Our Woman in Kabul wasn’t too bad (Trish wore a burqa) but only one of us made it through In Siberia. All I can now recall is that horse meat is widely eaten there. I’m still waiting for an opportunity to use that morsel in a cocktail party conversation.

Kate Holden’s memoir of working as a prostitute led to discussion regarding prostitution in our own coastal town. Who knew that the working girls plied the Coast Road at tradie knock off time? Not me. We also spent some time considering whether girls from private schools were more likely to become drug addicted prostitutes. I don’t remember coming to a resolution on that one.

Last week, our book was I Heard the Owl Call My Name, by Margaret Craven. This moving reflection on life, set in an American Indian village, inspired a smoking ceremony. With sage smoke up our nostrils, we reflected on the value of the simple life and the desirability of living each day as if it might be your last.

Now that’s a conversation you don’t have every Tuesday night.

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