For June, we read Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. I thought it was going to be quietly good, as it won the Pulitzer Prize and is considered thoughtful literary fiction. It's an old man's (third generation Congregationalist minister John Ames) meandering thoughts about his life and the lives of his father and grandfather that he's writing down for his very young son. John is over seventy and in poor health, and since he married a much younger woman very late in life, the boy is only 6 years old. He knows he won't live to know his son as an adult, and so it's important to him to write down things he wants to tell him. Gilead is said to be "transcendent" and to have "spare, spiritual prose in the style of Walt Whitman" and I can see that, I really can.......but it bored me to tears. I forced myself to read exactly half...and then I quit, again.
I'm two for two right now. How embarrassing!
There were two consolations to giving up on this second book in a row. First, only about half of the members finished it, and only one person liked it, so I was in good company. And second, my friend Marian hosted this month's meeting at her house, and turned it into a pool party! Her husband (who's retired and has free time) cooked fajitas and mixed drinks for us and brought it all out poolside.
Now that's the way to host a book club party! We had a grand time.