Thank you for Visiting

This book club provided an opportunity to discuss books with authors from 2009 - 2013. I like to think we were a group of daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, well... women finding time to meet while juggling daily life.

I hope you enjoy exploring The Manic Mommies Book Club Archives. We read 46 books over the years, with audio or written author discussions for each book read documented on this blog.

~ with kindness & gratitude, Mari

Backseat Saints: Discussion Recap

Let me start this post with a story - after reading a few chapters of Backseat Saints.  I decided to download the audio book so I could listen while working in the yard. While enjoying the book I didn't realize I had disturbed a hornet's nest - I haven't been stuck since I was a young girl - ouch!

I have read all of Jackson's books, with exception of her first novel. Rose Mae is the main character in Backseat Saints and pulled forward from her Gods in Alabama. I have put this book on my hold list at the library.

We had a wonderful conversation with Joshilyn Jackson last night. If you were unable to join us, you can listen by clicking on the arrow below (you can also download to your computer/itunes by clicking on the link to the right).

This months call is edited down to just over 40 minutes:

In addition to the call, we are bringing back the online discussion for those unable to join us - or for anyone who has read the book and would like to participate.

Here are some questions to get the discussion started (answer any/all of them or simply leave a comment about your reading experience):

1. What was your overall view of the book? Did you enjoy it?

2. Discuss Rose Mae's journey and your view of her story. Did you read Gods in Alabama and remember her character?

3. Discuss the Gypsy and her role throughout the novel. Maybe Parker too, did you think he was Rose's brother?

4. What surprised you the most while reading this book?

5. It would be a disservice to not talk about the abuse (we see/read about it often on the news, in books, newspapers etc). Rose Mae's journey brings much change to her life. Do you know anyone who has escaped abuse? If yes, is there anything you can share with us?

6. Looking to the future: if Rose Mae were to appear in another novel by the author… where would you see her life (ie: in 5 years time)?

Lastly, what are you reading now?

August 2010 Selection: The Island: a novel

We will be discussing The Island: a novel with the author on August 19 (8PM EST). Watch for details as we get closer to the date.

A 24 book giveaway will be posted to the Manic Mommies website within the next week.

Synopsis: From New York Times bestseller Elin Hilderbrand, a new novel set on Tuckernuck, a tiny island off the coast of Nantucket. Four women-a mother, her sister, two grown daughters-head to Tuckernuck for a retreat, hoping to escape their troubles. Instead, they find only drama, secrets, and life-changing revelations.
Author Q&A:
Tell us a little about yourself: I am Type A and completely overscheduled. I am married and have three children -- Maxx is 10, Dawson is 8 and Shelby is 4. I am a Little League mother; I spent all spring at games 4 nights a week and Saturdays, and my son Maxx made the All-Stars, meaning even more games and weekends away! My favorite things about summer are: the beach, my Jeep with the top off, cold champagne, corn on the cob, blueberry pie and flip-flops. (Note: baseball does not appear on this list.) I grew up in Philadelphia and I'm a huge Eagles fan. I jog 6-7 miles every morning. In the winters, because my husband manages a beach club that is closed, we pull our children out of school and take an exotic vacation. This past winter, we spent 6 weeks traveling through Vietnam. Next winter, we will go to Perth, Australia, which is my favorite place on earth. The two things I would really like to learn to do are: speak French and play the guitar. But who has the time???
What was it like getting your first novel published? It was a mixed bag. I was relieved to have sold it (to St. Martin's Press) but my advance was only $5000, so I could hardly quit my part time paralegal job. When the book came out, it was immediately chosen by People Magazine as Beach Book of the Week. And then St. Martin's immediately ran out of books. I actually didn't know anything about book sales at that point -- but oh, have I learned.

What is your writing schedule like? I write from 11-4 about 4 days a week in the summer. I have a live-in nanny who covers the children, God LOVE her! In the winter, I write at a remote location ( a friend's empty rental house in town) from 10-6. And when we are on our exotic vacations, I write six days a week while my husband covers the kids. I take one day off to snorkel or see the temples.

When you start writing, how much of the story do you have mapped out and how much is organic? I have certain things mapped out, but more than anyone might imagine is organic... as I'm writing, the process of discovery characters tell me what's going to happen next. It's mystical, but I try not to talk about it too much or even think about it, because I don't want it to go away.

What are you reading now? I just finished The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. It was utterly fabulous. It all came together at the end in a way that made the whole more than the sum of its parts. It felt like witchcraft.

If you could interview anyone, who would if be and why? What would you like to ask them? The only person I would really like to interview is my father, Robert Hilderbrand, who died in a plane crash when I was sixteen. And my question would be: Are you proud of me? (Tissue, please!)