The Ash Family by Molly Dektar

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Available Here! – The Ash Family by Molly Dektar

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This was my Book Club’s pick for October!  The story wasn’t quite what I was expecting, which is usually a good thing.  The book brought good discussion in our group as there were many interesting topics pertaining to the story.

Berie is the main character who isn’t sure the life she is currently living, is the one she actually wants to be living.  As if her thoughts produced an entity, she meets a somewhat seductive but mysterious guy while waiting at the bus station where she is supposed to be boarding to go to college.  They strike up a conversation, a bit too easily if you ask me since they were strangers to each other.  Here folks is where I realized first how naive Berie’s character was.

Mr. Mysterious convinces her in a very short time whilst standing at the bus station, that she should come with him and visit his family’s farm.  With the promise of this new more exciting life, Berie goes with him……..yes I know what you’re thinking, I thought the same thing.  What on earth is this girl doing.

Once they arrive to the Ash Family Farm, she finds that his family aren’t blood relation, but a community of sorts.  This ‘family’ has been living off the grid, using their own fertile lad to grow food and survive using their own sources.  Berie, now renamed Harmony, renounces her old life and settles into her new one on the farm. She begins to make friends. And then they start to disappear………

This is a strange story and the ending leaves you hanging, but you’ll find yourself shocked, not surprised shocked, but the kind that makes you want to say…WHAT IN THE WORLD IS SHE THINKING.

Book Club Discussion Questions from Luggage and Literature ——

The Ash Family by Molly Dektar Book Club Questions

 

 

Educated by Tara Westover

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This was my Book Club’s pick for September!  I enjoy reading memoirs, although I hadn’t really heard much about this book before it was picked.  The cover was intriguing to me.  I did end up listening to this on audio.  The story stirred up a lot of conversation, a great pick for book clubs!

This story was unreal.  Tara shares with us the tale of how she grew up and how she became something far apart from her upbringing.  She was 17 before she ever entered a class room.  There didn’t seem to be the time between planning for the apocalypse, canning peaches and helping her mother concoct remedies out of herbs for her mothers midwife gig.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse.  Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with her mothers tinctures.  The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.

Tara began educating herself, sometimes hiding behind a chair to do so.  She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust, which was mind blowing that she knew nothing about!

There is so much that goes on in this book, you’ll want to keep reading it.  It was said by a few book club members that they found it a little hard to get into at first, but got better.  Have you read this book or are you reading it in your book club?  Let me know your thoughts!

Available on Amazon – Educated by Tara Westover

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home (Mennonite #1) by Rhoda Janzen

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Rating: ♥ ♥

This is the first book in my new post series “Book Club Selections”, as they are books that we have read for our book club ~ A Novel Idea!

Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her brilliant husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her with serious injuries. What was a gal to do? Rhoda packed her bags and went home. This wasn’t just any home, though. This was a Mennonite home. While Rhoda had long ventured out on her own spiritual path, the conservative community welcomed her back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda’s good-natured mother suggested she date her first cousin—he owned a tractor, see.) It is in this safe place that Rhoda can come to terms with her failed marriage; her desire, as a young woman, to leave her sheltered world behind; and the choices that both freed and entrapped her.

Written with wry humor and huge personality—and tackling faith, love, family, and aging—Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is an immensely moving memoir of healing, certain to touch anyone who has ever had to look homeward in order to move ahead.

I will be completely honest with you, this book was difficult for me to get through.  I stepped out of my box, which is why I wanted to join a book club, and this one to me was just not a winner. All things considered I did find humor in a few places!  Sad to say, she pretty much used up her good material within the first few chapters, after that I felt as though she was rambling on, going no where.  Here’s another thing, the author makes a point of mentioning that she is an English professor and a grammarian who is often asked to edit her colleagues’ research papers and has in fact taken on a paying editing gig in the wake of her divorce. Apparently, these editorial skills don’t extend to fact-checking (in which her copy editor also failed her), since the text is sprinkled with such things as “Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers” (the actual name is spelled Bonne Bell).

Although I think the part that kept me reading the book was that it was interesting to me all the skills that Mennonites have.  Now a days you won’t find kids in the kitchen learning how to make bread or learning to sew.  Still, this was a bizarre read. I had no idea what to expect of this book but I’m glad that I stepped out of my ‘norm’ to take a shot at it!

Available on Amazon – Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home (Mennonite #1) by Rhoda Janzen