Now to the book! This month it was One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Everyone universally enjoyed the book. It is a fairly quick read at only 220 pages. It does have one of those endings where you are not really quite sure how it actually ends, kind of like the final show of The Sopranos. I do tend to like my novel endings tied up in a nice pretty bow, but in my mind, I selected the ending I would have like to have seen, so I was not disappointed.
The general storyline of the book is that nine people are trapped in a passport and visa office by an earthquake and to take their minds off the situation, they each tell a defining story about themselves - their one amazing thing. Several of our group spoke of the one amazing thing in their lives and many had stories that had to do with birth and death, as correlated with the characters in the book. One of our group talked about how her mother had hung on to life until her son had left on a trip because she could not bear to die with him there. She had ended up dying the day he got on the cruise ship. That bought big tears to my eyes because my father had also hung on until the morning after my parents 12th wedding anniversary when I was ten years old, an event so painful for me that I still really cannot talk about it 44 years later. I, of course, could not bear to share that with the group at the time, so group, here's my explanation why I was so tearful.
The author is of Indian descent and the characters are either Indian or going to India, so we also talked about traveling to India. Several of our group had been there and many said it was beautiful, but had a distinct odor, which was not too pleasant. Some of the group had also read other books by this author and especially liked The Mistress of Spices.
The morning started with a delicious feast that Cindy had prepared and ended with a gift exchange. It was one of those where each person selects a gift to open and then you can take one someone else has already opened if you prefer. The really interesting thing was fully half of the gifts were darling little evening bags! Someone suggested that we might just want to go ahead and make it an all handbag gift exchange next year. What a fabulous idea and an amazing thing!
|Cindy Balliette and Jeremy Wright stand next to the fully decorated kitchen island.|
|The entrance foyer|
|A bountifully decorated chest in the hallway.|
|A full-size Grinch in the home theater.|
|Santa on the steps between the kitchen and family room.|
|The towering and fully embellished tree|
|Yummy desserts under the watchful eyes of the Anna Lee dolls|
|A luscious luncheon spread|
|Kim Wheeler, Kim Cornetet, Christine Winsler and Gila Meriwether|
|Cindy Balliette, Melba Jimenez, Birdie Lape and Karen Flanigan|
|Lisa Beckstein and Laura Shukovsky|