Hosting a book club is a cozy way to catch up with friends and to stay motivated to keep reading. Even when things get busy at work, I’m happy to have a goal for reading a new find. This month was Zoe Whittall’s The Best Kind of People.
Setting a pretty table to roll out a tough talk that led to some really excellent, incisive discussion:
It’s such a relevant novel- hitting home and close (too close?) in some topical issues that are difficult, but fascinating. Our media culture is obsessed with guilt and innocence and with true crime. In this intimate story, we really see the up close impact and disintegration wrought on a family as their charmed life is peeled away, layer by layer to inspect what we fear is lurking. On one hand, we are familiar with the all too frequent news coverage of sex crimes and scandal, but what if it was you? That’s the scariest part – we all think we know what we would do, or that we would see it coming.
One of the biggest issues people had was that they wanted more, that the ending was unsatisfying. That’s also what I liked about the novel; Whittall doesn’t give us what we want, and in withholding gives us even more insight into our own conditioning and rubber-necking, as well as our craving for tidiness – even when the story’s subject matter is messy as hell.