I love the title of our latest book club pick mainly because I’ve said it so many times. To my friends going on vacation, to my husband going to work, to our mailman as he’s leaving the latest Athleta catalogue that will ultimately send me into a tailspin of body hatred … well, you get it. But, alas, this book has nothing to do with my desperate pleas for help. School is almost over, chickies, and I don’t know about you, but I’m torn between being SO done with homework and doing things like forgetting to send flowers in for Teacher Appreciation Day and being in a sheer panic that MY KIDS WILL BE HOME ALL DAY.
One of my saving graces is my reading and my love for all things Meredith! Our monthly walks and talks provide a level of sanity that, frankly, I need more than monthly. She always makes me feel like I’m doing a good job as a mom. I don’t know how because I can turn just about anything I do into something horrible, but she waves her wand and I feel like maybe I am doing ok. I guess we’ll find out in a couple of years when all the therapy bills start coming in. For right now, though, I truly am grateful for the gift that is our friendship.
Now onto the good stuff!! Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde … what did you think??
Apparently Ms. Hyde has written quite the array of books that are all rated quite highly on Amazon. She is also the mastermind behind the book Pay It Forward … did anyone see this movie? It slipped past my radar, but now I’m kind of interested to see it.
I approached Take Me With You preparing to be a mess in regards to the main character, August, having lost his son. Instead, I found it interesting just how much of the book focused on alcoholism.
Were any of you surprised by the focus of alcoholism in the book?
I don’t know anyone that doesn’t know someone who is an alcoholic. My family has quite a few. I have seen it ruin people’s lives and I have seen people in recovery who take the steps everyday to stay sober. I appreciated how Ms. Hyde approached this subject and I enjoyed reading about August going to meetings and eventually bringing Seth along.
This was a truly character driven novel. Which character did you like best?
Personally, I think Henry was my favorite. His desire not to speak gave him a sort of mystery while also making you root for him. I was a little disappointed that Ms. Hyde never addressed what had happened to the boys when they had been in foster care the last time their father had been in jail. This seemed to be the catalyst for Henry’s decision not to speak and I wondered if she would ever explain it.
And how about the adorable dog, Charlie!!
Loved that he knew just where to go to find Henry. Ok, maybe he was my favorite character!
How about August’s reaction to Seth’s desire to do the extreme rock climbing? Over the top? Appropriate?
I really attributed it to August having fears because he had already lost one child and the boys were like sons to him. I think there could have been a little more depth given to that, but it was a good conflict to show in regards to letting things go … especially as a parent. Seth was a grown adult and had an intense passion. A good reminder that as parents we can’t choose our children’s paths or their passions, even if they scare the crap out of us!
This quote from the book really resonated with me and fits in with this whole letting go theme within the book:
“All I know is, it’s what makes me … you know … me. You know how when you’re working, or going to school, and you just keep repeating the same days? Got to work, come home, eat. Do the laundry. Go to sleep. And then you notice the days are going by really fast. And they’re all starting to look alike. And then you start to feel like this can’t be it. This can’t be all. This can’t be … you know … a whole life. There has to be more. That’s what the climbing is to me. It’s the more. That’s the thing that makes me feel like life is enough. Come on. You know what I mean, August. What makes your life feel like enough?”
Wow! I just loved that.
Also, were you surprised that August didn’t put two and two together that the boys would be taking him every summer on the trip?
I felt like it was kind of obvious, but sweet just the same. And the boys surprising him with Niagara Falls was truly touching.
All in all, a very sweet, touching novel that was an easy read with some fairly deep content. I will definitely be picking up more of her books!
And, as usual, we will be giving away a free copy of our next book club pick (see below)! Just leave a comment!
Crazy, Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Here’s is Amazon’s description:
When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.
On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.
Don’t forget to leave a comment before May 13, 2016 at 5:30am ET so you can be entered to win a copy of Crazy, Rich Asians!! As long as you are 18 or older and live in the continental U.S., you are eligible. The winner will be picked May 13th!