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.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group  selection for January is In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende.  This is a sweeping novel about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil.  In the Midst of Winter begins with a minor traffic accident--which becomes the catalyst for an unexpected and moving love story between two people who thought they were deep into the winter of their lives.  (From the publisher.)

Each of the three main characters--Lucia, Evelyn, and Richard -- experiences some king of isolation in their present life.  The book begins with Lucia physically isolated in her apartment during a snowstorm.  In what other ways is she isolated?  How is her isolation different from Evelyn's?  And from Richard's?

Evelyn's relationship with Frankie is very special, and reveals a lot about her character.  Why is she so successful at caring for him?  In what ways does she expand his horizons?

When Evelyn leaves her native village, she tells her grandmother Concepcion, "Just as I am going, Grandma, so I will return."  Compare Evelyn's relationship with her grandmother to her relationship with her mother, Miriam.  What positive things has each of them given to Evelyn?

When Richard arrives in New York with Anita, and his friend Horacio sees the state she is in, he says to Richard, "Make sure you don't let her down, brother."  In what ways does Richard end up letting Anita down?  Why do you think he does?  How does the fate of Anita and his children continue to shape his life long after their deaths?

"In the midst of winter, I finally found there was within me an invincible summer."  Why do you think Isabel Allende chose to include this quote from Albert Camus in the book's epigraph, title, and final scene?  Most of the story literally takes place during the winter.  But on the symbolic level, Evelyn, Lucia, and Richard are all experiencing a winter of the spirit.  What does that consist of, for each of them?  And what do you think the "invincible summer" is that each one finds within?
(Questions issued by the publisher.)