Hooray! It’s book club time again, and the month we’re wrapping up the last of the books that were started (by me) pre Florence’s launch. This one was chosen as a suggestion by Rachel mentioning The Book Snob‘s read-along.
Reviewing a classic is always difficult and I haven’t quite finished my copy (Blame the blog!) so instead of treading on the toes of those who love it, I am of course, as always, asking you ladies to share your thoughts on Persuasion.
As a guide, consider these questions that I had when reading to prompt your comments too…
- Is Mrs Russel a good friend? Well meaning, or a busy body? Or did you cynically think she had an ulterior motive?!
- Like many of Austen’s novels, the story takes a long time to come to its conclusion, via many a misunderstanding and unsaid word. Does this drive you (like me) to distraction?
- There are parallels to be drawn between Persuasion and modern life with similarities to many womens’ sense of missing out on the ‘one that got away’. Can you identify with a character who lives in such a different era with such different social constraints?
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
Before we do however, it’s time to introduce our next book. Don’t forget, the book club runs bi-monthly, so this book will be introduced this month but not reviewed and discussed until January. Next month we’ll be discussing Breakfast at Tiffany’s that Rachel introduced last month. So now let me hand over to Laura who sent this in to me as a suggestion a few weeks ago, to introduce The Help, also out on film right about now.
Hi Florence Finds readers! My name is Laura, an avid Florence Finds follower and I would love to introduce to Florence Finds Book Club a beautifully written novel – The Help by Kathryn Stockett. A U.S bestseller novel, that has recently been made into a film – hotly tipped for Oscar nominations!
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Help is set in 1962 in Jackson, Mississippi, in a time where “Black maids raise white children, but aren’t trusted to not steal the silver…” The story focuses around three central characters, Skeeter, Abileen and Minny who form an unlikely friendship to give the black maids in Mississippi a much needed voice.
The sub characters in the book are hugely enthralling and create fantastic images in your mind – from the controlling and self obsessed Miss Hilly, to the outcast Miss Celia, who, no matter how hard she tries, never quite fits in.
The Help provides a valuable insight into the Civil Rights Movement in the sixties. Set alongside the world of white middle class housewives who are so constrained by traditions and rules, they are almost suffocating, even though some of the ‘rules’ are self-imposed, and those who are desperate to join their world, but are shut out. The story moves at such a pace that you will find you can’t put the book down – so much so I read it cover to cover in just two days!
The Help’s central focus is around the working conditions and treatment of the black maids and whilst this clearly provides a huge number of very valuable and interesting talking points, I would love for readers to not only look at the central issue but also the many layers of relationships between women that are prevalent in the book and think about how these relationships still exist in our very own modern day lives, such as;
– The “unlikely” friendship that is formed between Skeeter, Aibleen and Minny, have you had an unlikely friendship that turned into one of your most rewarding?
– Have you ever had a “Toxic Friend” like Miss Hilly, someone who you once were possibly so similar too but now don’t relate to at all?
– Have you every felt like an outcast like Miss Celia, who can’t do right for doing wrong? Or ever had empathy with someone who is in Miss Celia’s shoes?
The Help will have you feeling true warmth towards the central characters and laughing out loud at the ultimate revenge story that becomes “Two Slice Hilly”
Happy reading 🙂
Over to you readers… tell me your thoughts on Persuasion, and if you will be reading The Help – I think it looks brilliant 🙂