Book Clubs are the BEST!
I can't tell you what a thrill it is to sit around a table with strangers who have read my novel, The Cooking Class in San Sebastian. First of all, seeing so many copies of the book laying on the table is great. The faces were energized and focused on the topic. That is so flattering. Did I say bountiful food and wine? I was too jazzed to remember to take a photo, so you'll have to trust me, the scene was excellent even before they told me they really enjoyed reading the book.
Although this most recent group was more 40-something, they loved the 70-something characters, Eva and Laurence. Questions about the inspiration for the characters created a dynamic conversation about why the profiles of an engineer and a CEO mom create a struggle to try to be a couple. As mothers they all identified with Eva's issues about her children and Laurence's suggestions about handling them differently. Several were married to engineers and identified with Eva's issues with Laurence. And everybody understood his problems with her. Drew and his art gallery business and his relationship with Bernadette generated a lively conversation as well. The depth of emotion for the characters this group expressed is gratifying.
The city of Seattle and the Puget Sound region setting was meaningful to the group. Bellingham, Lopez Island and the farm stand on Lopez where Eva and Laurence shop were familiar to a few and new destinations for the ones who hadn't visited there before. They were disappointed the art gallery was fictitious as they would like to visit it on a First Thursday Art Walk. They also enjoyed learning about the American Basque experience which they hadn't known too much about. I found the conversation riveting!
The marvelous friend who invited me and suggested my book to her group knocked herself out with several Basque inspired dishes, octopus salad, roasted chickpeas, potatoes and more. I brought sardines on toast, lamb meatballs and a variation of the Gilda. It was festive. I loved every minute of it and hope to see that group again with my next book and other book clubs I met with The Cooking Class in Kuala Lumpur. I'd love to meet with more book clubs. Let me know if your club would like to invite me for a discussion.
All the reviews of the novel at Amazon.com and Audible are greatly appreciated. I look for more from readers who haven't posted a review of the book yet. You know who you are! Please post a review wherever you like to share your thoughts.
I have also received terrific comments by email like these below. There's a form on the CONTACT page of this website where you may submit a comment to be included on the site. Many thanks to all readers and reviewers.