The Glass Castle was a book that was given to me or suggested that I read by Anth & Julie when amm was first ill and in the hospital. At least that’s how I remember it. Please correct me if I am wrong. But this book. I can’t even describe the power it had over me. Jeanette Walls told the story of her life and it was so captivating that I remember sitting next to amm and reading. And reading. And reading. And someone would come to visit her and I would say, “Yah, have some time with her, I’ll just go out in the waiting room to read.” And they would say, “Oh, you can stay in the room with us.” And I would reply, “No, no. It’s ok. Have your time with her.” Because really, I could get some good uninterrupted time reading when in the waiting room.
I like to think that because amm loved books so much that she would understand and be ok with me choosing to spend time with my book instead of my dying mother. I read a lot in those three months.
So, fast forward to present day. I have a friend who has never really read. And by that I mean “amm reading”. Which to me, is always reading before bed, reading on vacation, reading while eating breakfast, reading while on the deck. Reading. They’ve read a lot of non-fiction, but never immersed themselves in novel after novel. So we started a book club – can it still be called a club if there are only two members?
I got to choose the first book. And I chose The Glass Castle. It needed to be a novel that really captivated them, right from the start. And it did. Well, then they got a little off-track, but soon was back reading almost every night and ended up staying up much past bedtime to finish the book. I re-read the book as well. And what I appreciated was how I was able to relate to the story in a different way since amm died.
I let out hard cries when Jeanette describes taking her father’s hand in the hospital after he has had a heart attack, and holds it. Then an hour later they turned the machines off. It took me to the day we did the same for amm.
What I love about this new book club is seeing what reading this novel did for my friend. When we set time aside to talk about the book, they did the majority of the talking. Analyzing, sharing their thoughts, wondering about questions that were left unanswered. And seeing the excitement in their eyes while doing so. That’s what reading does. It puts a twinkle in your eye. It really does.
So now that we have finished The Glass Castle, it was up to the other book club member to choose the book. And we’ve decided upon Harry Potter. It may seem like an unexpected choice, but I knew it was right the second it was suggested. amm had read the entire Harry Potter series and thoroughly enjoyed it. And I have always wanted to read the books as well because amm had, but never have.
I think amm really chooses the books for this book club, wouldn’t you agree?