Part of the Women at Play group consists of a book club.

You can participate or not – there’s no obligation – but a new title is given to you each month to try out, and then a coffee night is scheduled for the third Thursday of each month to get together and discuss the book, (or just get together.)

This “homework” is ideal for me.  I’ve slipped off of the reading wagon this past year, but it’s something I really enjoy.  Making time for it was the problem.  In having a pseudo-obligation, and a title given to me, it’s so much easier to have an excuse to join in again.

This month’s book is Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult.

It was released in 2008, so perhaps some of you have read it already?

Nineteen Minutes, Jodi Picoult

Synopsis from Amazon.com:

Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper and The Tenth Circle, pens her most riveting book yet, with a startling and poignant story about the devastating aftermath of a small-town tragedy.

Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens–until the day its complacency is shattered by a school shooting. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state’s best witness, but she can’t remember what happened before her very own eyes–or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show–destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.

 

Don’t let the cover fool you (like it did me).  This isn’t a love story or a teenage drama – it’s about a school shooting: the events leading up to, and the aftermath of.  In fact, what I didn’t notice before I read the book was that both hands in the cover look sort of feminine?  I won’t spoil the story for you, but suffice it to say that it could pertain to an unlikely friendship, or the bond between parent and child.

I purchased the Ebook of this and polished it off in about a week.  I struggled with the first hundred or so pages because the ebook version (or at least the one I purchased) wasn’t formatted very well at all, so characters changed without the usual paragraph change to indicate as such.  One second you are reading the thoughts of one character and in the very next sentence you have moved over to the ramblings of another.

Bad ebook editors!

It isn’t a light read, but it is compelling.  My mind kept reverting to the shootings of the kindergarten students in Sandy Hook.  More because that tragedy was more recent (2012) and because my girls were the same age as those children were when the incident occurred.  More than that, it makes you question conventional stereotypes like “the shooter must have had terrible parents”, or “what monsters raised that person?” and most importantly “are any of us doing this parenting thing right?”

The author writes this in an empathetic way, but without bringing you to tears on every single page.

If you’re looking for a summer read, I do recommend this book – it’s thought provoking, compelling and well written.

Nineteen Minutes book review

 

click image for link to purchase

 

Have a great one (and give your kids an extra hug today)!

Too funny: when you send your husband to pick something up