Many, many thanks to everyone who came out to visit Nancy Richler this week and made it a great meeting (and one of our highest attended). And also thanks to everyone who made such a great effort with the food. I was expecting sandwiches and pre-fab packets and instead got salmon, meatballs and other great treats! And a personal thanks to those that contributed even a little bit to the event to help offset the cost of the gift card we presented to our author.
Nancy thanked me and said she had a great time meeting everyone and talking about her work. I think to Nancy we will now always be: “The group who gets the rocks”.
Thanks to Laura for hosting at her daycare location. Great venue! Quiet, places to cook our own food, and central to most people! Maybe we should have it there every month. ;-)
As always, talking a book over with the group makes me appreciate it and analyze depths of the story I hadn’t even realized on an initial read. And getting information right from the “horse’s mouth” is such a treat! Nancy was candid and sincere as she talked about her story and her process. I am always fascinated by authors who are surprised by their own endings or by the way their characters act. It helps me understand the flow of the events behind the scenes if we truly understand that once created, some of these characters take on lives of their own and act separate from the author’s intent. I also found it interesting that in her first draft, Nancy did NOT have the reunion between Lily and her daughter and that this recommendation came from her editor.
The story itself is an excellent one and it did expand on my knowledge of WWII and the impact the war and the post-war had on these people and what they and their families had to go through. Is Lily a villain for abandoning her daughter? Was she justified? Is the blank journal a representation of how empty and false Lily felt? (i.e. why journal a life that is not your won?). The book posed some great questions. The real-world change I took from the book was I actually started to keep a journal again. Though, unlike Lily who left hers blank, I plan on writing in mine should my son ever decide he needs insights into who I am/was as his father.
An excellent book and a great meeting with the author. Thanks to those that helped make it so.