Wednesday, September 02, 2009

What Happens in Book Club...

Yesterday was a special day. It was my mother-in-law's birthday, and last night I was invited to speak with her neighborhood book club about A Hundred Years of Happiness. I must say, I was impressed with the discussions. I was comfortable with the people, the friendships, the adorable cat, Max, who sat propped in a chair in our circle. He thought he was no different than anyone else in our group, just a little furrier and a tad bit quieter.

There were two women there who could only stay a short while. One was visiting the other from Texas and had brought a copy of A Hundred Years of Happiness with her for the trip. She had no idea I was coming to the book club in the neighborhood last night until she saw her hostess had a copy of the same book. They came by for a while to meet me, and it was a thrill to know that people in Texas are reading my books and waiting for the next one to come out. It was more of an honor for me to meet her that the other way around. Pam, it was a pleasure. I hope you have a wonderful time in South Carolina and a safe trip back home.

I always feel honored when a book club chooses one of my books to discuss. (For those of you who don't realize, there are always book club questions on my website. You can print out and have at it.) I'm always amazed that people take the time to read the books I've written, how they inevitably touch someone in the group, how details of lives are shared, deepest intimacies about relationships, experiences in life.

I love every book club that I visit with, but last night was personal. I shared myself with this group of ladies and my mother-in-law. She got to hear my inner workings, and I'm sure she learned a thing or two. Not to mention, the book we were discussing was inspired my my stepfather's service in Vietnam forty years ago, so you can imagine the revelations going on. I'd like to tell you what all was said in that house last night, but I can't.
You see, as I got into the car at the end of the evening to take my mother-in-law home, I said, "Well, I guess you might have learned a few things in there. How about let's keep all that to ourselves?" And her reply was, very serious, "What happens in Book Club, stays in Book Club."
Well said, Judy.
What a blessing to have a group of friends who will read with you, share with you, and keep your secrets. And what a blessing to have a mother-in-law you adore.

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