Saturday, July 14, 2007


So I joined another book group. Optimistic of me to think I might have time to read two novels a month, but what the heck. This group is a bunch of moms who like to read, and like even more to hang out at the beach (knocking back a few) discussing what they've read, and watching the sun set as the tide rolls in. Let's just say it's an easy fit for yours truly. (For any of my new friends who happen across this blog, this will explain why I took a picture of my shoes...)

We read Frangipani, by Celestine Vaite. It's the story of Materena, a strong, proud and wise Tahitian woman, and her smart, lively and challenging daughter Leilani. The novel explores themes of personal growth, conflict and love in mother-daughter relationships, family, change across generations both in Tahitian culture and for women in general. Its subject plops it squarely in the chick lit market, which I'm loathe to even acknowledge as such. Still, I found Materena an engaging character and Frangipani a charming if undemanding story. It made a lovely excuse to spend an evening on the beach talking (ultimately of other things). A teacher of English in the group recoiled in mock horror when I said it reminded me thematically of The Red Tent, so much a women's book group favorite that it essentially defines the genre. Red Tent is certainly a more literary, more ambitious work; Frangipani is maybe more suited for mature young adults. What do I know, I majored in rocks.

At any rate, as a mother of girls, it is always heartening to read strong mother-daughter relationship stories. I'll find it again in ten years and ask the Bean and Peanut what they think. Here's hoping they're still speaking to me.


  1. Frangipani sounds "lite."

    Love the new template, it fits your name better than the other.

  2. Wow, love the new look!

    I'm so far behind on my reading . . .

  3. Last month my book group laughed at me because I brought the book to our potluck/meeting. They said "Oh look, she brought the book. Like we're really going to talk about it!! Hahahaha!!" Our last book kinda sucked; we didn't address it and just went on to our gossiping and eating. We spend more time deciding on the meal for next time than the book.
    I need to find another group that actually reads. (In addition to this one, not instead of.)

  4. Can I join your book club? Mine is not half as much fun!