Susanita (bardhlul) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books 9 & 10 - Book club books

9.     The Paris Wife by Paula McLain – “A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.” – They met in Chicago in 1920, and they were married in less than a year. Just a few months later they moved to Paris where Ernest wrote and Hadley cooled her heels during the day, and at night they partied with other writers such as Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein. Though money was tight, whenever there was a little extra from an assignment they’d travel through Europe, and in due course these travels formed the basis of The Sun Also Rises (which he dedicated to Hadley and their son). Ernest was a petulant and self-absorbed fellow, however, and their union did not last once another woman entered the picture. It was fascinating (and a little exhausting) to read about their whirlwind courtship and later their frenetic and “modern” life among the literary elite of their time; it was also sad and frustrating to observe the slow unraveling of their marriage. This was the book club selection for March, and we had an interesting discussion about (among other things) whether the “progressive” living arrangements some of the Hemingways’ cohorts exhibited were really as outrageous as they may have seemed at the time.

10.   The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – “Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.” I inadvertently spoiled myself reading an article on BookRiot, but even so it was still a moving story. Meanwhile, I see that another community member recently described this book more proficiently than I would, so I have nothing more to add on that account. This is my book club’s April selection, and I’m looking forward to the discussion. Not only is it our first YA selection, but also there are several mothers in the group who are bound to have some noteworthy contributions about the themes of the book.

I never did finish our book for February. It was a good selection, but it just didn’t particularly grab my attention. Perhaps I will pick it up again later so I don’t have another partial read on my ledger. For now, though, I’m moving on to more of my own choices.
Tags: fiction, literature, young adult

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