Books Magazine

The Inner B*tches Book Club

By Anovelsource @thenovellife
The Inner B*tches Book ClubI recently joined/started a book club with a few friends and both of my daughters...I can't remember who exactly came up with our um, catchy, name...but we're having loads of fun.
I've learned through the years that if you have just the right combination of people, book club can be outrageously funny and sensationally intimate all in one meeting.  Have you found that to be the case in your book club?
The book that kicked off our group was When She Woke by Hilary Jordan.  It is more of an adult dystopian novel in which criminals are monochromed rather than incarcerated.  For example, child molesters are injected with a virus that turns their skin a bright blue; petty criminals are tinted orange; and murderers - well, they get a bright red skin color.
Hannah Payne has been a devoted daughter and member of her church (in our group we likened the church to an extreme Fundamentalist sect).  When Hannah is captured after undergoing a secret abortion and refuses to name the father, she is convicted of murder and sentenced to the maximum of sixteen years as a red chrome.
When She Woke started our book club off with the such extreme topics of the future of our justice system and if monochroming could be a viable option; religion and at what point does a sect become a cult; family and is it right or just to turn a blind eye on a family member; and of course, abortion - what is right, wrong and in-between.  Oh, and reality tv ~ the first 30 days of a monochrome's new life is spent in a cell where her every move is broadcast to the world.
The Meal:  For dinner our group chose a meal from the book, altered just a wee bit! Rather than having crawfish & cheese grits we had shrimp and grits, the Paula Deen/Bobby Flay/Stacy version! We had to make more cheese grits for thirds and fourths! For dessert we had the most delicious hot caramel & walnut brownie.  The wine chosen was a red zinfandel and a red cabernet...all from the book.  We were supposed to have NutraGrain Bars as an appetizer as a nod to Hannah's 30 days incarceration when that was all she was fed, but someone (guilty as charged!) forgot to pick up the cereal bars!
The Wrap-Up: Most of us listened to the audio version, with Heather Corrigan as the narrator.  As the voice of Hannah, Corrigan nailed it.  Hannah came across as naive, innocent and profoundly wounded by her circumstances.  When it came to everyone else however, especially anyone with an accent, ugh! The Southern accent was a cheap imitation of a redneck drawl while the French accent sounded more German.
Overall, everyone enjoyed the book.  The craziness of monochroming was considered as not-so-far-out given the over-crowding of prisons and the lack of rehabilitation of some criminals.  The religion aspect of the novel gave us a lot to talk about as two of our group members have been a part of a Fundamentalist church - one mostly positive experience and the other considered herself thankful to be out of the "cult-like" atmosphere.  It was definitely an interesting book to start our group off with and one that I think helped us to gel as members.
The Inner B*tches Book Club
For our May meeting we chose newly released, Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall.
So, Dear Reader, what do you think about monochroming? Have you read When She Woke? And any fun tips or book suggestions for our June meeting?
Publisher: Algonquin Books | Published: October 4, 2011352 pages | 10 hours 49 minutes listening time | Genre: Dystopian FictionSource: My personal Audible account

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