The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls

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Registered: 08-11-2008
The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls
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Sat, 03-16-2013 - 3:07pm

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher 230 pages 3/15/13 pub 2012

I lovelovelove this book! And I'm going to demonstrate why with five quotes from the book. 

“Thesis statement: Book clubs can kill you. (This essay ends with a person drowning. It turns out you don’t need much water for a person to drown.)…I want to apologize for some of the things you’ll read in this essay: they may not be appropriate for the assignment. In The Left Hand of Darkness Genly says, ‘I’ll make my report as if I told a story.’ That’s what I’m going to do. And I’ll explain how the books affected me – because whoever I was at the beginning of the summer, I am not that person anymore.” (i)

“The joke about West New Hope was that there was no East New Hope, and there was No Hope. We lived in a flat, oversized suburb west of nothing, a dot on the map in a state people drove through to get somewhere else.” (9)

Here Adrienne imagines her Library of Congress description. “Haus, Adrienne. 1. People with knee ailments – Biography. 2. Bored fifteen- year-old Delawareans –Non-fiction. 3. People without hobbies who have only one friend, and that friend is away for the summer. 4. People who have never met their fathers.” (20)

15. EPIPHANY: Probably because I once saw my third- grade teacher use an EpiPen, driving the point of it into Jordan Wersall, who’d been stung by a bee, I think of an epiphany as something that gets injected into the main character so she suddenly sees things differently.” (184)

“Edna and Esperanza and Genly and Frankenstein’s monster and the crazy woman in the yellow room: it seemed they all wanted to tell me something. They wanted to talk to me about this person Adrienne Haus.” (227)

I love this book because Adrienne tells us how she changes with the books she reads. She learns about the girls in the book club and their moms through the book club. And it’s a really nice look at the books the book club reads, two of which I’ve recently read (The Yellow Wallpaper and Frankenstein) and three I want to read or reread. (The Left Hand of Darkness, The House on Mango Street, The Awakening.)(Interlibrary loan, 50 States+ YA Challenge, Delaware)

Julia

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Registered: 01-28-2000

This sounds like a book I'll love, if I have the chance to read it.

When I read that  Adrienne learns about the girl in the book club, I was reminded of another novel about a group of girls who became friends at school through their shared love of a book, and how that friendship affects their lives many years later.  I really think you'll like Sheri S. Tepper's "Gibbon's Decline and Fall".

Roberta

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2008

Thank you Roberta for the recommendation. I've read a bunch of Sherri S. Tepper's books, but haven't gotten around to Gibbon's Decline and Fall. I may even own it.

Among Others by Jo Walton is also about a HS book club. (It's about a high school age girl who finds a book club in the community where her school is.) And it's one those rare books that won both a Nebula and Hugo.

Julia