Sunday, 29 July 2012

Above All Things- Our Book Club Pick

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.
-Erich Fromm

Dear members,

I can't believe how fast time seems to go by this summer- already it's near August! Have you accomplished some of your things on your Summer to-do list?

Yesterday was our book club meeting, which took place at Panera Bread! We sat and discussed what we have seen and events taking place, not to mention the books we were reading!
Our conversation then turned to our previous selection, Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles. It was quite a read, a bit slow at first, but it gradually rises to a sweeping epic ending. The story of Achilles is seen through the eyes of Patroclus, where the story begins when Patroclus and Achilles meet for the first time when they were children, and ends toward the end of the Trojan War. It is Greece in the age of heroes, and the individuals that appear in the book revive our knowledge of Greek mythology: characters such as Zeus, Hercules, Apollo, and Odysseus- they capture the essence of a age wrapped with honour, sacrifice, and glory.
While we all agreed that Patroclus made a good narrator, we thought other character's point of view would have been nice, such as Chiron the Centaur. Overall, we enjoyed the book (it also made us want to go back and read classics such as The Iliad!)

Finally the moment came to select our next book club pick! While all titles were very good, the members have chosen, and this month's book club pick is:

The Paris Wife meets Into Thin Air in this breathtaking debut novel of obsession and divided loyalties, which brilliantly weaves together the harrowing story of George Mallory''s ill-fated 1924 attempt to be the first man to conquer Mount Everest, with that of a single day in the life of his wife as she waits at home in England for news of his return.
A captivating blend of historical fact and imaginative fiction, Above All Things moves seamlessly back and forth between the epic story of Mallory''s legendary final expedition and a heartbreaking account of a day in the life of Ruth Mallory. Through George''s perspective, and that of the newest member of the climbing team, Sandy Irvine, we get an astonishing picture of the terrible risks taken by the men on the treacherous terrain of the Himalaya. But it is through Ruth''s eyes that a complex portrait of a marriage emerges, one forged on the eve of the First World War, shadowed by its losses, and haunted by the ever-present possibility that George might not come home. Drawing on years of research, this powerful and beautifully written novel is a timeless story of desire, redemption, and the lengths we are willing to go for honour, glory, and love.

Here is the trailer:

Want to know more about the author? Visit her website! Some fun parts of her site includes "Did You Know" about Above All Things and a Resources page, should you wish to explore further about all things Everest and George Mallory. You can also meet her in person at this year's Word on the Street!

Until next time!

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