Snapdragon Literary Club February meet-up
Thanks to everyone who attended our first meet-up of 2012 and for the unfolding discussion of “Suite Francaise” but Irene Nemirovsky. If you haven’t read it or skipped the Appendices at the end, go back and read them! They add a complexity and a revealing layer to the book. Haunting, thought-provoking, humorous, and a true re-telling of human nature during war, and one that the characters have no idea is just beginning.
February’s book will take us back a few decades, over the Atlantic to Chicago, and gives life and voice to an American icon: “Loving Frank” by Nancy Horan
I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current. So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them. During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction developed between Mamah and Frank, and in time the lovers, each married with children, embarked on a course that would shock Chicago society and forever change their lives.
In this ambitious debut novel, fact and fiction blend together brilliantly. While scholars have largely relegated Mamah to a footnote in the life of America’s greatest architect, author Nancy Horan gives full weight to their dramatic love story and illuminates Cheney’s profound influence on Wright.
Drawing on years of research, Horan weaves little-known facts into a compelling narrative, vividly portraying the conflicts and struggles of a woman forced to choose between the roles of mother, wife, lover, and intellectual. Horan’s Mamah is a woman seeking to find her own place, her own creative calling in the world. Mamah’s is an unforgettable journey marked by choices that reshape her notions of love and responsibility, leading inexorably ultimately lead to this novel’s stunning conclusion.
Elegantly written and remarkably rich in detail, Loving Frank is a fitting tribute to a courageous woman, a national icon, and their timeless love story.
A look back at the books of 2011
Our first meeting of 2012 is next Thursday, January 26 at 7:30PM. Even if you haven’t read, “Suite Francaise” but would like to come and mix and mingle with the group, come on by. We have great discussions. We rotate who chooses the book each month so we have a variety of perspectives and interests represented. 2011 was a great success for Snapdragon Inn’s Literary Club. We were taken on journeys all around the world across diverse settings and time periods. Certainly, a hi-light of the year was having Abraham Verghese, join our conversation via phone back in April as we discussed his book, “Cutting for Stone”.
November Literary Club Meeting moved to December 1st
Thursday night we met and discussed Lisa See’s fascinating tale set in 19th century China, “Snowflower and the Secret Fan”. We spent a lot of time discussing the centuries old practice of foot binding and how incredibly pivotal that was for Chinese women. There is a lot to ruminate over from this book.
For our next move, we are heading to pre -WWII France with Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky.
From the a NY times review:
THIS stunning book contains two narratives, one fictional and the other a fragmentary, factual account of how the fiction came into being. “Suite Française” itself consists of two novellas portraying life in France from June 4, 1940, as German forces prepare to invade Paris, through July 1, 1941, when some of Hitler’s occupying troops leave France to join the assault on the Soviet Union. At the end of the volume, a series of appendices and a biographical sketch provide, among other things, information about the author of the novellas. Born in Ukraine, Irène Némirovsky had lived in France since 1919 and had established herself in her adopted country’s literary community, publishing nine novels and a biography of Chekhov. She composed “Suite Française” in the village of Issy-l’Evêque, where she, her husband and two young daughters had settled after fleeing Paris. On July 13, 1942, French policemen, enforcing the German race laws, arrested Némirovsky as “a stateless person of Jewish descent.” She was transported to Auschwitz, where she died in the infirmary on Aug. 17.
Go here for the full article.
Usually we meet the last Thursday of the month but since that is Thanksgiving, we have moved the meeting to Thursday, December 1st and we will break for December and the holidays.
See you there
October Literary Club Meeting: October 27th
“A stunning setup for describing a culture inside a story, and Lisa See takes full advantage of it. On every page, she provides fascinating details of the lives of women in China.”
— San Diego Union Tribune
Everyone is welcome to attend whether you have had a chance to read the book or you just like to join in on the conversation later this month in the Maxwell Perkins library. Please come! If you are on facebook you can join our group here. We look forward to seeing you on October 27th at 7:30PM.
September Literary club meeting: September 29th
Thanks to everyone who came out last Thursday to our literary club meeting where we chatted about “The Reading Group”. It is fun to see some new faces, welcome! The last few months, we have basically been choosing books a bit randomly but we are going to start rotating the choice between the group so things should start to get interesting. We will start that next month, but so many of us had either read or wanted to read “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett that we made it our September read. Our meeting is always scheduled for the last Thursday of the month at 7:30PM. So we’ll see you September 29th!
If you would like to come, let us know, and we can add you to the email update on facebook.