December, 2017: The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

(Book #92) Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia –That may or may not be Polish for Merry Christmas and/ or Happy Holiday of the Holy Birth. We may never know for certain but what we can know with absolute certainty is that Geri is our hostessa bozonarodzeniowa! 

Geri hosted the most wonderful night of the year with generous hospitality,  vodka punch, the delicious meal, which required a translator via cell phone in the market — two kinds of pierogies, kielbasa, zapiekanka, (baguettes with mushrooms and cheese) sauerkraut, pickled herring, beets, pickles and those non Polish olives–AND the flourless chocolate cake cheesecake soufflé pudding for Melissa’s 30th birthday! She makes room for us every year for a December meeting and our cookie exchange extravaganza.

Our discussion of the book started with the notion that the author clearly did her research, and while that may have tempted her to include it all, she was able to write much of it with the spark of fiction. We talked about the  description of the evening during which they had to endure the hunting party and how painful that must have been for persons whose job it was to care for the animals. Another moment that caught our attention late in the book was when two gunshots were heard but not seen. A few of us had seen the movie and felt they had done a fine job with it. I wasn’t one who had seen it which prevented any possibility of a quiz and besides it’s almost Christmas.

A favorite quote: “Suffering took hold of me like a magic spell abolishing all differences between friends and strangers.”

We all have our booklist maps for our 2018 journey across the USA as well as our wackier than ever bookclub Christmas ornaments.