Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Club - "The Goldfinch"

What do you call a handful of ladies who get together once a month to eat tasty treats, drink a little wine, chat about their lives (and sometimes about a book that they may...or may not...have read?) Why, Book Club, of course!!

Last night, my book club met at my house, where the monthly book selection was "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt (more about that in a bit.) Since I was the host, I felt the urge to tie the theme into my food and decor. I thought and thought, and I asked myself, "WWMD?" ("What Would Martha Do?") She would probably have had cloth napkins (I had paper), delectable treats (I had finger-nibbles) and a hand-crafted centerpiece. OK, try as I might, I am no Martha, especially in the kitchen! But what I came up with was cute, easy and fun.

I started with a theme...yellow!  As you can see, I served pineapple chunks, cheese and crackers, pretzel bites and lemon bars.  The pretzel bites are always a crowd favorite, and this time I topped them with yellow candy melts and pecans.  So easy, and just the right mix of sweet and salty.  The lemon bars were a Pinterest discovery (here). I have to report that these were fail-proof (if I can make them successfully, ANYONE can) and delicious!

And what would Book Club be without wine? (Not nearly as much fun!) So I offered four varieties of wine to appease all tastes. For my buddies from Bloggy Bootcamp St. Louis, you will notice the Mirassou. I thought fondly of our time together as I served this Chardonnay.

It was easy to find yellow flowers in the garden to plop into a vase. Daylilies are in full bloom now. For my piece de resistance, I took an iron birdcage cloche, small flower pot, nest, and ceramic bird, all of which I had on hand, and created a centerpiece. However the bird, when purchased, resembled a robin so I did a little transformation with my craft paints and brushes. Within about 10 minutes, that robin had morphed into a goldfinch!

One last yellow detail. It's possible that this lady may have even dressed in yellow for the event (too much??) In my defense, though, I already had these mustard-colored pants and I wear them regularly! And here is a very bad attempt at my first-ever (shameless) selfie.

Would someone please educate me on how to do this?

Ok, Ok, about the book..............

The concensus of the group was that it was an excellent read. It was a hair long, at over 700 pages, but one of our members strongly felt that the length was necessary to fully develop the characters and themes of loss, grief, restoration, beauty, art, etc. We were personally drawn to certain characters despite their flaws (i.e. Boris) and were able to relate to the many levels of family, relational, and personal struggles within the difficult storyline. We tried to get into the minds of Hobie and Mrs. Barbour; and we were saddened and perplexed by the actions of Theo's father and Kitsey.

But the tragic story was really about Theo, a lost and hurting soul who battled grief and guilt, loss and confusion. The author gave us so much to ponder about life and death in this book. It was well worth persisting through all 700+ pages.

Have you read "The Goldfinch"? What did you think?

Sharing with: The Style Sisters, DIY by Design, Elizabeth and Co, Life in Velvet, Share Your Cup, Between Naps on the Porch, Nancherrow, Shabby Art Boutique, Simple Details, Pieced Pastimes, Dwellings, Rustic and Refined, Domestically Speaking