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, August 31, 2015

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Club is reading The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom for the September book selection. 

Orphaned while onboard a ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house.  Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin.

Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.  Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds.  When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk.

The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.

Why do you think the author chose to tell the story through two narrators?  How are Lavinia's observations and judgments different from Belle's?  Does this story belong to one more than the other?  If you could choose another character to narrate the novel, who would it be?

Why does the captain keep Belle's true identity a secret from his wife and children?  Do you think the truth would have been a relief to his family or torn them further apart?  At what  point does keeping this secret turn tragic?

Marshall is a complicated character.  At times, he is kind and protective;  other times, he is a violent monster.  What is the secret that Marshall is forced to keep?  Is he to blame for what happened to Sally?  Why do you think Marshall was loyal to Rankin, who was a conspirator with Mr. Waters?

" I was enslaved as all the others" (page 300).  Do you think this statement by Lavinia is fair?  Is her position equivalent to those of the slaves?  What freedom does she have that the slaves do not?  What burdens does her race put upon her?

Let us know what you think of The Kitchen House.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Club is reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes for the August book selection.  A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn't have less in common--a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart? 

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life--steady boyfriend, close family--who has never been farther afield than their tiny village.  She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident.  Will has always lived a huge life--big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel--and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

If you were Louisa, would you have quit working for the Traynors?  If yes, at what point?

Were you able to relate to the way Will felt after his accident?  What about his outlook on life did you find most difficult to understand or accept?

Why is Louisa able to reach Will when so many others could not?

Were you as surprised as Lou to learn of Will's plans?

Before his accident, Will was a philanderer and a corporate raider who would probably never have given Louisa a second look.  Why is it that people are so often unable to see what's truly important until they've experienced loss?

Let us know what you think of Me Before You!