In a fit of whimsy I joined a book club, which is rather unlike me. I thought it would be good to step away from discussing and exploring books in an academic sense and just do something more normal and less intense.
The first book to read was one I’d have picked out on my own. A romance novel. Now I should say I have nothing against romance novels, I just don’t read them. It isn’t that I haven’t read them, but I don’t read them now.
When I read them before I found them to not even be an escape because they were so scripted and typical. The characters were flat and the plot always the same with just a change of venue. Needless to say this is what I was expecting when I read the chosen novel recently.
Sure the plot was there of woman meets man, circumstances are such that they can’t be together even if tthey can’t stop thinking about each other. Add in a twist in the plot and suddenly they are able to get together and realize at what they thought they didn’t want was what they really needed and wanted. All, of course, live happily ever after. Yes that was in this book.
But what surprised me was that the author managed to make the characters, main and supporting, to come alive and seem real. The twists in the plot weren’t so far-flung as to be fantasy and the ups and downs were things we all experience in life. In other words I could relate to the characters and the plot.
I found it refreshing to read and the discussions about the book were equally refreshing. And through the process I was reminded how often our unconscious biases, those we aren’t even aware we have until we stop and examine them, prevent us from experiencing things that we might enjoy.
I told Beloved that even though the purpose of the book club was being able to read a variety of books and have discussions about the books in a non-academic setting, I learned more here than in school. I’m glad I had this opportunity!