I gave an important disclaimer to our first month’s book club participants about my August selection: the first half of the novel is pretty dark, but if you continue through to the end, the author achieves well-earned hopefulness in a book so rich you’ll never forget it. For many of the 29 people who found their way to the Pfister this Thursday to discuss The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel, this disclaimer rang true. I heard a lot of comments like, “At first I wasn’t so sure, but wow, this was a surprisingly beautiful book by the end!”
The Veins of the Ocean takes place in Miami, Cuba, Columbia and the Florida Keys. It is the story of Reina, whose brother Carlito throws a baby off a bridge in the novel’s first page and is sentenced to death. Reina escapes to the Keys to try to start anew, where she meets Nesto, a Cuban immigrant who is yearning to bring his children to the United States. The novel is about the family ties that are so inextricable that crime, loss, betrayal and even death cannot break them. It is about the plight of immigrants and refugees in our country. It is about the innumerable things that tend to hold us captive and what it means to be free, and it is about forgiving others and forgiving ourselves.
If you haven’t had a chance to read this novel, our book club found it deep, interesting, and ultimately hopeful, and we had plenty to discuss!
AUGUST READER PROFILE: Mary
* Loves to listen to audio books, especially when they are read by the author
* Happy to be in a book club because she is more likely to pick up a genre or title she wouldn’t normally read
Favorite books: Barbara Kingsolver, Lincoln in the Bardo, Little Women
Thoughts on this month’s book: “I thought The Veins of the Ocean was a very beautiful book. The writing was hypnotic and the story really made you think about the state of affairs in so many different parts of the world and whether we choose to embrace other people different from us or not. It also made me think about despair and hope.”
Our book club meets the second Thursday of the month from 7-9 pm. Wine, beer, coffee, and a book-themed dessert are complimentary, and we will validate your parking in the Pfister garage as well!
Please join us on September 14 at 7 pm in the Pfister Mezzanine, when we’ll be discussing The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor. Here’s a description of the novel, which is based on a magical Victorian hoax:
The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home turns the clock back one hundred years to a time when two young girls from Cottingley, Yorkshire, convinced the world that they had done the impossible and photographed fairies in their garden. Now, in her newest novel, international bestseller Hazel Gaynor reimagines their story.
To enrich our book club meeting and offer a gorgeous keepsake to readers, Margaret Muza, Artist in Residence, will be offering beautiful fairy tintypes like the photos Frances and Elsie took with their fairies! She will be taking fairy tintype portraits on Sept 14 from 5-9 pm. A 4×5 tintype,normally $90, will be discounted to $60 for book club participants. She took mine below, and I adore it. You’ll want your own tintype with a fairy even more after you read The Cottingley Secret, so plan on coming to our next book club meeting early or popping over to Margaret’s studio during our discussion to have yours taken, just as if you were in Cottingley. Happy reading, and can’t wait to see you all next month!