Thursday, April 14, 2011

April Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met this past Monday, April 11th, to discuss our April book, Turtle in Paradise. We had a terrific discussion and a surprise guest!

We all like the book and thought that it had some interesting surprises. We liked Turtle and felt that she wasn't a typical girly girl - she doesn't like babies or Shirley Temple - and that she was very opinionated. We thought that she experienced a real culture shock in Key West, not only the location but the large extended family which was very different than what she was used to in New Jersey with just her mom and Archie. We talked about how Turtle was very realistic and her mom more of a dreamer - she always looked for the happy side of everything which tended to make her blind to life's pitfalls. We thought that in life it is better to be more realistic that way when something bad happens you will be more prepared for it.

We talked a lot about Turtle's extended family, her cousins and grandmother she didn't know was alive. We discussed the time period, the Great Depression, and how that affected Turtle's life and her family. We felt that Turtle was upset about being sent to Key West away from her mother but that her mom didn't really have a choice and probably thought she was doing the right thing. She needed to take the housekeeping job and unfortunately Turtle was not allowed to be with her.

We talked about the Diaper Gang and how Turtle's relationship with the boys in the gang changed over the course of the book. Initially no girls were allowed in the gang but by the end Turtle had proven herself and was allowed to join.

Turtle's shoes were very symbolic in the story and we talked about how Turtle felt about her shoes. When she first arrived in Key West she was proud to have shoes but overtime she stopped wearing them because no one wore shoes and it was really too hot to wear them anyway. But when they were stolen, Turtle was very upset. And then later the only thing she bought for herself with the treasure money was a new pair of shoes. We thought that the shoes represented her old home and the family she had with her mom and Archie. They reminded her of home because Archie had bought them for her and so having them stolen felt like another piece of her family was taken away from her.

Finally we talked a lot about the ending which we had mixed feelings about. Some of us didn't like it - it was definitely a surprise ending. Just when you think Turtle will get her "hollywood ending" it's snatched out from under her. But we thought about how Archie leaving and Turtle and her mom staying in Key West might actually be a good thing - the best thing for them - and how it might actually lead to a happier future.

The club members enjoyed reaing historical fiction and would very much recommend Turtle in Paradise to their friends.

Following our discussion, we went online and looked at the author's website as well as the youtube book trailor and other websites posted in prior blog posts.

Our surprise guest was a photographer from Newport This Week! Our picture will be in the paper today - Thursday, April 14th. Check us out!

Thanks to all the Book Buddies club members for coming!

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