The Silver Strand “Books in the Afternoon Book Club” took a two-month break over the holidays. We had time to tackle the long, classic book “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving. The book is hated and loved by many high schoolers—guess we still think like high schoolers. We met on January 29th at Nora Nicosia’s house to discuss the book.
The story is set in New Hampshire and details two boys growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. Later the book moves to Toronto in the 80’s. The group thought the book was captivating and boring, humorous and flat, thought-provoking and “bloated.” It was certainly well researched by the author especially concerning Vietnam and immigration to Canada. In an interview, John Irving said he’d probably never again write a better first sentence: “I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice…”
Many of the characters weren’t likeable but they were unique and well crafted. The author makes use of foreshadowing (“Later I learned that I was capable of evil…”), which encouraged us to keep reading. There were a number of twists and surprises. We rated the book 3.4.
As mentioned, the character Owen Meany had a distinct, irritating voice. One of the members said that the book really came to life for her because she listened to it as a book on tape. The strange voice of Owen Meany made the book really interesting.
We selected “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delian Owens as our next book. We will meet on Tuesday, February 26 at 3 pm at Nora’s house to discuss this highly rated book (87% of over 4,000 readers on Amazon rated it a 5).
We forgot to list any non-fiction books we’ve read and recommend. We did remember to talk about our trips to Mexico City, Australia, and Brazil.
Note: reading the book is not a requirement for attending.
|Little Fires Everywhere||Celeste Ng||11/14/17||3.5|
|The Woman in the Window||AJ Finn||4/10/18||3.5|
|Before We Were Yours||Lisa Wingate||5/15/18||3.4|
|The Mars Room||Rachel Kushner||6/19/18||3.0|
|The Marriage of Opposites||Alice Hoffman||8/14/18||5.0|
|The Great Alone||Kristin Hannah||10/2/18||4.8|
|The Leopard at the Door||Jennifer McVeigh||10/30/18||3.2|
|Less||Andrew Sean Greer||11/27/18||3.8|
|A Prayer for Owen Meany||John Irving||1/29/19||3.4|