The Emperor’s Children ~ Reading Schedule

September 2, 2007 at 5:33 pm | Posted in Book Club, Claire Messud, The Emperor's Children | Leave a comment

I finally got my copy of the book in the mail yesterday. I am so excited! I looked through the book. Since it’s just over 450 pages, I thought it would be easiest to break it up by chapter in 50 +/- pages each week. Here is the reading schedule:

  1. Chapters 1 – 6
  2. Chapters 7 – 13
  3. Chapters 14 – 20
  4. Chapters 21 – 27
  5. Chapters 28 – 36
  6. Chapters 37 – 43
  7. Chapters 44 – 52
  8. Chapters 53 – 60
  9. Chapters 61 – EOB (end of book)

I hope that this seems manageable to everyone.

I’ve also thought about the option of having people write their own posts versus commenting on my posts. What do you think about the idea of keeping it to comments? If there is a line of discussion that seems to stand out, that can then become it’s own topic. I will lead for this book and will post my opening comments on or before Monday, September 10. Then, if there is someone who would like to lead the next book, we can set that up. Sound good?

Now, let’s start reading The Emperor’s Children ~ On your mark, get set, go!


Two Weeks and Counting

August 27, 2007 at 3:08 am | Posted in Book Club, Claire Messud, Our Next Book, The Emperor's Children | 2 Comments

The Literate Housewives seem to be happy to be finished with our book club’s virgin (yeah, right!) voyage.  Just because we’ve collectively destroyed at least 3 copies of Perfect Match doesn’t mean we’re down for the count. On Monday, September 10, we will begin our next book:


The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud

Please join us!

Perfect Match – Week 6; Chapters 8 & 9

August 19, 2007 at 2:33 pm | Posted in Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match Week 6, vigilante justice | 5 Comments

What the?

A screenplay written by Literate Housewife

As inspired by the last two chapters of Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult

Literate Housewife [Kate Winslett] is reading while comfortably reclined with a gently read copy of Perfect Match in her hands.  Her relaxed face grows more and more tight and twisted as she reads through the parts of the book where Caleb pretty much forgives Nina (on Nina’s terms, mind you), the perpetrator dies, and the jury cannot make a decision.  Her drawn face loosens as Nina makes the decision to let the judge decide her fate.  The hope of impending justice is like a muscle relaxer for her soul.

As Literate Housewife reads the judge’s verdict, she bolts up straight in her rocking chair.  “What the f*ck?” she says under her breath as it becomes apparent that the judge is going to let Nina off because, as a prosecuter, she has cause to be scared of what the justice system (the justice system, mind you) would have done to her family.  All the while, Literate Housewife’s hands curl and crinkle the book.  She could have possibly bought that a jury would find her not guilty, but a judge sentencing her to probation?  Does it really matter for how long?  Seriously!

Literate Housewife tosses the book on the foot stool, stands up, and starts pacing for a few moments.  She wipes the hair out of her face, stretches her back, arms, and legs.  She gives her head a good shake and sits back down.  After taking several deep breaths, Literate Housewife picks the book back up.

Patrick is leaving town and won’t stick around for Nina.  Literate Housewife nods.  At least that’s something.  Patrick at least grew up.  She continues to read.

 “What?” she cries.  She flips back a page and rereads a portion of the last pages of the book.  She flips back another time before she screams out loud.  “Caleb killed the perverted priest and his damn cat with anti-freeze?  That’s bullsh*t!” [Last sentence drawn out for effect.]

 Suddenly, as if propelled by rocket fuel, a copy of Perfect Match flies across the room.  It hits the wall with a loud thunk and then falls on the floor in a heap.  Literate Housewife gets up from her rocking chair and, while streaming curses under her breath, walks out of the room.  The last shot is of Literate Housewife giving the beaten up copy of the book a good swift kick.

Next Up…

August 13, 2007 at 11:25 am | Posted in Book Club, Our Next Book, The Emperor's Children | 2 Comments

The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud

 When would you like to start?  September 10? 17?  I’ll go with the majority.

Reading for Week 6

August 13, 2007 at 11:22 am | Posted in Book Club, Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match Week 6 | Leave a comment

Let’s put this book to bed and finish it this week.

Perfect Match – Week 5; Chapter 7

August 13, 2007 at 3:09 am | Posted in Book Club, Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match Week 5 | 2 Comments

Here are my thoughts. They apply equally to her jury, her judge, her husband, and her “spare part” lover:

She’s guilty.  Convict her, throw the book at her, and throw away the key.

Reading for Week 5

August 4, 2007 at 5:06 pm | Posted in Book Club, Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match Week 5 | Leave a comment

Chapter 7, bring it on.

Perfect Match – Week 4; Chapter 6

August 4, 2007 at 5:03 pm | Posted in Book Club, Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match Week 4, vigilante justice | 3 Comments

Before I read this chapter, I found myself wondering if I just didn’t like Nina or if the character of Nina was written that way.  After finishing Chapter 6, I still do not like Nina, but I believe that Picoult wrote her character very honestly.  I’m sure that there are people who have read this book who like Nina very much.  One could easily say that she is doing everything in her power to protect her son.  I see a woman who has now, on at least four occassions, tried to tightly control the situation even though each and every attempt has blown up her son’s life.  At what point does a person notice and take to heart that things get worse the more that she interferes?

As I speculated from the beginning, Father Glen was not the man responsible for molesting Nathaniel.  The initial blood tests point to him, but a biological loophole clears him.  It seems that Fr. Glen had a bone marrow transplant because he had leukemia.  The man who provide his bone marrow was the man responsible for molesting Nathaniel.  This man was Fr. Glen’s half-brother and one of the clergy visiting Fr. Glen’s parish.  To Nina’s credit, Nina lets go of her smug self-righteousness long enough to feel guilty for what she did.  She realizes that she is a living, breathing example of why there is a justice system and why vigilante justice is against the law.  Even prosecutors peg the wrong man once in a while.

The guilt and sorrow she feels makes her more human to me.  It didn’t hold Nina back for long, though.  She confides only in Patrick and lies to her husband.  She uses her influence over Patrick to manipulate him into tracking down the man responsible for hurting her son.  She doesn’t believe that Patrick could or would take justice into his own hands, but that doesn’t stop her from planting the bug, so to speak.   When Caleb finally learns the truth, he leaves and takes Nathaniel with him.  Due to the terms of her second release from jail, Nina must stay at home.  Alone.  Where she should have stayed.  Nina doesn’t like to be alone, and Patrick sure did come in handy on Christmas Eve…  She had and took the chance to further damage her family and break the heart of her best friend.

I found the DNA twist to be more than far-fetched.  On top of this being a one in a billion chance that the DNA evidence would be wrong, it also just so happens to be the time when the innocent man was killed before receiving a fair hearing.  Fr. Glen was the wonderful man everyone claimed that he was.  So, I cannot believe that Fr. Glen would not sense that his half brother had a dark side.  I can’t see him allowing the other man any where near children.  He might not have turned his back on his half brother, but he wouldn’t have invited him willingly into his parish life.  Even if he did, wouldn’t Fr. Glen suspect what happened from the moment he was questioned?  Wait!  Maybe he did.  We’ll never know.  He was murdered before his attorney had the chance to speak at his arraignment.

As a reader, I’m not thinking that I am a “perfect match” for this book.  Alas, I will soldier on.

It’s Never Too Early to Plan Ahead

August 2, 2007 at 4:05 pm | Posted in Book Club, Our Next Book | 8 Comments

Does anyone have any good suggestions for next time? 

A suggestion that I have is The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud.  I’ve been hearing so much about it.  This last week’s issue of People magazine said that it is “unputdownable.”  NPR gave this novel exceptionally glowing reviews.

Reading for Week 4

July 24, 2007 at 2:35 am | Posted in Perfect Match Week 4 | 2 Comments

In order to give everyone a chance to catch up (and allow me to go on a scrapbooking retreat this weekend), I suggest that we take the next week and a half to read Chapter 6.  I will post my thoughts and opinions on Friday, August 3.

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