|Cassie (left) is now deceased. There's a new|
Bichon in her place: Thor. Nenette is not so
much of a party dog since this photo, but
still takes a turn in each lap during meetings.
January: A Wake for the Dreamland by Laurel Deedrick-Mayne
Friendship. Self-sacrifice. Closeted gays. Pacifism during wartime. Mental health. A moving story about two very young soldiers and the woman who loves them both. The trio of friends are well-drawn and the many details of daily life during the 1930s and '40s make the setting vivid. Special highlight: the author graciously attended our meeting. That's one of the perks of reading local. It was so interesting to hear about her research and it also deepened our appreciation for this wonderful novel.
February: Rumi and the Red Handbag by Shawna Lemay
Reflective. Ethereal. Secrets. Through working together, a friendship develops between two women of different ages and backgrounds. Slim in size, but mighty in content. Women were observed hugging this book during our meeting. We took turns reading aloud our favourite parts. Gorgeous prose!
March: The Unfinished Child by Theresa Shea
Multiple storylines converge in this novel about children with Down syndrome. Changing views about disabilities across decades. Ethical dilemmas. This book provoked so much discussion! Members reported buying copies for friends and colleagues.
April: The Sicilian Wife by Caterina Edwards
Mystery regarding a double fatality car crash is the hook in opening scene. Multiple timelines and settings. Mafia. Girl striving for independence within traditional Sicilian family. Chauvinism faced by female police officers. Dysfunctional families. Most of us liked this quite a bit but the member who read it in ebook found it hard to follow.
June: Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium by Myrna Kostash
Quest to learn why a Greek saint, known for killing Slavs, is popular with Slavic people. Memoir. Travel. Spiritual journey. I think I was the only member who made it all the way through this. Under 300 pages but dense with history and religion. On the plus side, I flagged many passages for discussion. Bonus: we shared a special Ukrainian meal in honour of the book.
July: Sistering by Jennifer Quist
October: A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge of the Grizzly Trail by Jenna Butler
November: Santa Rosa by Wendy McGrath
December: Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott
It has been fun discovering new authors and there are many other titles that we could add to this list. Our project is going so well that we are considering continuing with it next year.
Please look for Two Bichons on Goodreads if you want to see what else we've read over the years.