Welcome to the KPL Book Club Blogspot

Welcome to the internet home of the Kilbourn Public Library (KPL) Book Club. The KPL Book Club meets at the library once a month. A book is chosen for each month and then members of the book club meet the last Monday and Wednesday of every month for lively discussion and treats. While we can’t offer you treats via the internet, this KPL Reads blog was designed for those of you who would like to participate in the book club but don’t have time to join us at meetings. Each month KPL staff will post discussion topics and questions to get you “talking”. Join in the discussion by adding a post to the blog. Click on the word comments below the post you want to "talk" about and write your comment. Be sure to check back often to see feedback and comments.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group will be reading The Worst Thing I've Done by Ursula Hegi for the March selection.  In this novel set on the East End of Long Island, a woman embarks on a poignant voyage of self-discovery and comes to terms with the aftermath of one horrible choice that changes everything. 

Friends since childhood, Annie, Jake, and Mason had a special bond that transcended all other relationships.  When Annie's parents die in a car accident on her and Mason's wedding night, the three friends decide to raise Annie's infant sister, Opal, together.  Jealousy and possessiveness entwine with love and friendship, and Annie struggles to be both a sister and a mother to Opal.  And then, on one fateful night, the friends step over a line that has shocking consequences.

Beautifully written and brilliantly vivid, this truthful and engaging novel of friendship and premature death, love and suicide, and, ultimately, resilience and understanding will resonate long after each character tells his or her story.  

Discuss the title of the novel.  Who do you think is the "I" in The Worst Thing I've Done?  What is the worst thing that Annie has done in the novel?  Mason?  Jake?

Annie considers the lifelong dynamic of her friendship with Mason and Jake:  "one of us always looking on".  Do you think it's inevitable that one person will feel excluded in a triangle friendship?  Do you think Mason, Annie, and Jake could have prevented the tragic implosion of their friendship?  If so, how?

Annie plays a dual role in Opal's life, as both her sister and her mother.  When do Annie and Opal seem most like sisters?  When is Annie able to assume authority as Opal's mother?

The ups and downs of friendship, such as Lotte and Aunt Stormy's "sisters-by-choice", or the tension between Mason and Jake, is featured prominently throughout the novel.  Which bond is stronger in the novel: friendship or family?  Or are they strong and tenuous in different ways?

At the end of the novel, Jake tells Annie about the day he and Mason fought on the raft at summer camp, but does not reveal what he saw of Mason's suicide.  Do you think Jake will ever tell Annie the deeper secret, or will he always keep it to himself?  How will his decision affect their relationship in the future?

Let us know what you think about The Worst Thing I've Done.