First book club

Arctic Fury bookcover
Cover from my first book I had to read for book club.

Yesterday I attended the first book club of my life. We had one month to read “The Arctic Fury” by Greer MacAllister.

Before I rant about the book, I’ll tell you about the book club. One of our neighbors hosted it in her courtyard. Eight women showed up, three I knew. We are mostly about the same age, all married, and transplants to Arizona — except for one beautiful woman from Moscow who was at least 10 to 15 years younger. One woman grew up in Guyana of Jim Jones fame. She moved to Arizona after living for years in New Jersey. Others were from Oregon, Seattle, Pittsburgh and Boston.

One woman, who took on the role of group leader, asked us for our opinion of the book. Then she asked us more detailed questions like if we felt the protagonist was a failure, what we thought of her leadership, etc. It was an interesting conversation and nice to get out and meet people.

Now about the book itself.

I didn’t like it in the beginning. It was slow and there were 13 women. I found it hard to keep track of characters. Also, they weren’t that well developed. The book jumped between the Arctic rescue and the protagonist’s murder trial in 1850s in Boston for the death of one of the women. Going back and forth wouldn’t have been a problem except it went from the trial to a narrative by a different woman each chapter. It was confusing and I couldn’t remember who was who.

The last third of the book, I was finally into it. It was a quicker pace. I don’t think I would have read the entire book without bookclub.

This was supposed to be historical fiction from the 1850s — based on a true story. It was startling to read about transgenders, lesbians, race and all the buzz words from today. The author even threw in something about chlamydia. That stopped me and I googled it and read it was first discovered in the 1960s. Not quite the right time frame for the 1850s. It was meant to be an empowering woman’s story, but I found all the issues the author mixed in didn’t add to the story, but detracted from it.

What books have you read for book club? Do you have any suggestions for me when it’s my turn to select the book?

30 thoughts on “First book club

  1. I had one bookclub on Monday where we read Matrix. Excellent for book club. My book club today was Midnight Ladies Swim Club which was a sweet book but not for book club. When I do my month in book posts I often note if it’s good for book clubs, but I’ll remember to tell you if I catch one

  2. I’ve been to several different book club meetings and haven’t always been a fan of the books chosen either. I did like the idea of some people choosing 2-3 books options when it was their turn and sending a note to the group to ask for a vote on which one they liked best..that ensured that a majority liked the book and the discussions were always more interesting. Hope the next book for your club is something you enjoy!

  3. I have always wanted to join a book club…a novel. I do belong to a ladies bible study and the bible is many books in one book with all the same theme, does that count for a book club?

  4. Wow a book club sounds super fun although the book doesn’t sound that great- especially the historical inaccuracy since the author could have easily done some research and realised like you did that chlamydia hadn’t been discovered till the 60’s.

  5. Good for you for making it through the book and joining the club! I’ve been in several book clubs and I love the discussions, connections, food, drink, companionship! I think it’s why I enjoy writing so much. 💕C

      • Oh my, Hemingway, I just finished reading that book as we were recently in the Bahamas and I felt compelled to read something by Hemingway. It’s a hard one to get though, you’ll see what I mean, but the writing is unique, short sentences, simple but strong language. Hemingway never ends his stories the way I want. Go figure? Let me know what you think. Hugs, C

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