April, 2016: Lila by Marilynne Robinson

(Book #72) Mary hosted the book Rosalie was waiting for since reading Gilead.   She served a delicious meatloaf wrapped in bacon and covered with BBQ sauce — Geri says that’s the only way she’s going to eat any food from now on. To accompany the meatloaf, Mary chose a potato salad recipe from the Pioneer Woman website and the girls all wanted the recipe.

Lila is such a character study and it was interesting to contemplate her past and how her experience informed her choices — all accompanied by the most scenic storm outside Mary’s windows. Dark clouds and lightning seemed to add to the conversation rather than distract. We thought it was truly amazing that Mary could arrange for that. The discussion of Lila made some of the members think about trying Gilead again and cemented others’ affection for Marilynne Robinson’s writing. This was the crazy email I sent Mary after the event — she had been fretting.

Sent: Monday, April 25, 2016 11:08 PM                                                            Subject: I have a couple questions

First of all I would like to say that there will be no falling off chairs while reading this one.  Like Lila, I just have some serious questions: pretend we’re all lying in bed — we have 10 beds and 2 and a half baths.

1. What’s up with all the worry?
I mean, we all worry about a variety of things but why in the world should we worry about any of the Book Club Girls not liking a wonderfully delicious meal?  Oh sure this group sets a high bar, but I have served too pink poultry and Chris has admitted to smooshing a cake back in shape.  No one is PERFECT (except maybe Lynn, but we all still like her) and it is very often the case that an element of surprise or “I didn’t mean for that to happen” gives more character to the evening and makes for a better story later on.

2.  How about that view tonight?
It was such an amazing atmosphere with those clouds and the lightning.  I’m not necessarily giving you credit for arranging for all that but I think if any of us have an IN with the big guy (or gal) I’d cast my vote for you. (And obviously someone had some savvy buying a place with those windows.)

3. Do you pronounce your name Mare-ee or May-ree? 
(I’m asking this one for Geri.)

4.  Do you believe in petting on the first date?
This has nothing to do with the book club but it’s been on my mind.  Have I been too easy or not easy enough?

5. When can we come over and eat all the leftovers?
Everything was so tasty and comfy.  I’m frightened by how important “comfy” is to me these days.  And I’m thinking the leftovers would be even comfier.  Oh wait.  I have your leftovers here — (never mind.)

Thank you Mary for a lovely, lovely evening.  It’s really so nice to experience all of us together and you were the only hostess who could have made this evening as lovely as it was.   

Our next meeting is at Susan’s on Monday, May 15 to discuss The Fisherman which I really don’t have to say because we were all there and we all heard it but just in case there was any incidence of food coma and because if I didn’t include it I wouldn’t feel right about signing off with

Respectfully submitted,
Tuh ree suh