Our book club, The Bookies met tonight to review A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. October is traditionally our classics month. This is not mine nor many bookies’ favorite month but we decided to keep a classic book read in the mix because we think it’s important to really stretch ourselves and read books we wouldn’t otherwise read. For me it is a stretch because if I didn’t have to I would probably never read another classic.
In the past some of our classics have included Wuthering Heights, Waldon, The Screwtape Letters, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Lady Chatterley’s Lover and now A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I will have to say that as classics go, this was better then the others but still not quite my style. We pick our classic read several months in advance to give everyone plenty of time to find the book and get it read. Normally I will start the book club book a week or less before our meeting so it’s fresh in my mind. But this book I started 2 weeks before our meeting and really struggled with it. In fact I practically had to lock myself in my bedroom last weekend just to get it done. It was very slow moving.
The meetings however are never dull. This month we had our meeting at Sheila’s house and it was a potluck featuring foods that were in the book. Since the family was a very poor Irish family in 1917 Brooklyn there weren’t a lot of really good choices but our Bookies are very creative women. We had minestrone, potatoes and straka. We had bread pudding (click on favorite recipes tab at top of page for recipe-stale bread was used a lot throughout the book), penny candy and even Klondike Bars. Klondike Bars? Yes, even though they didn’t have Klondike Bars in 1917 the main character did attend a Klondike dance, hence the ice cream dessert. I told you we are creative!