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April Book Club

  • Apr 15, 2014 · 6:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

This month's read Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich

When Irene America discovers that her husband, Gil, has been reading her diary, she begins a secret Blue Notebook, stashed securely in a safe-deposit box. There she records the truth about her life and her marriage, while turning her Red Diary—hidden where Gil will find it—into a manipulative farce. Alternating between these two records, complemented by unflinching third-person narration, Shadow Tag is an eerily gripping read.

When the novel opens, Irene is resuming work on her doctoral thesis about George Catlin, the nineteenth-century painter whose Native American subjects often regarded his portraits with suspicious wonder. Gil, who gained notoriety as an artist through his emotionally revealing portraits of his wife—work that is adoring, sensual, and humiliating, even shocking—realizes that his fear of losing Irene may force him to create the defining work of his career.

Meanwhile, Irene and Gil fight to keep up appearances for their three children: fourteen-year-old genius Florian, who escapes his family's unraveling with joints and a stolen bottle of wine; Riel, their only daughter, an eleven-year-old feverishly planning to preserve her family, no matter what disaster strikes; and sweet kindergartener Stoney, who was born, his parents come to realize, at the beginning of the end.

As her home increasingly becomes a place of violence and secrets, and she drifts into alcoholism, Irene moves to end her marriage. But her attachment to Gil is filled with shadowy need and delicious ironies. In brilliantly controlled prose, Shadow Tag fearlessly explores the complex nature of love, the fluid boundaries of identity, and one family's struggle for survival and redemption.

Moderator: Tara Clarini

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Such sad news, Gabriel Garcia Marquez has passed, one of the greatest writers living during our own lifetimes.

    April 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good to see everyone again.

    April 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had a great time. Lots of good discussion.

    April 16, 2014

  • Janice T.

    Thank you, Tara, for handling the questions. I enjoyed the group, as usual, and my meal was delicious. I will not be attending in May and look forward to seeing all of you in June.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pat C.

    Enjoyed the lively discussion and the insights of so many different people. It was nice to hear everyone.

    April 16, 2014

  • Casandra W.

    Great

    April 15, 2014

  • Kimber P.

    Had a great time. Cathy did a really good job choosing the restaurant!

    April 15, 2014

  • Meg

    I'm in between jobs so I'm keeping my nose to the grindstone until I find something. I'll see you all once I'm employed.

    April 14, 2014

  • Kathie

    My daughter posted this on Facebook, and I thought you all would enjoy it: Today I'd like to sit and read. Forget I have a job I need. Ignore the things I have to do, and just enjoy a book or two". Happy reading!! :-)

    3 · April 4, 2014

  • Dianne J.

    I will be in California so again, I will not know how well a book I recommended was received by the group. I hope you will like it. Louise Erdrich has won multiple prizes for her books and is one of the most critically acclaimed American writers.

    March 17, 2014

    • Kathie

      We will miss you, Dianne.

      March 18, 2014

    • Dianne J.

      Thank you. I will miss all of you too but I will continue to read the books and the posted comments.

      March 18, 2014

  • Dianne J.

    I understand the reason for opening reservations at a certain time but please explain how five people have reservations for the April meeting when that window does not open until February 14.

    January 27, 2014

    • CherylAnn P.

      I am not sure. I have been playing with the website and may have inadvertently changed something. It is correct now.

      January 27, 2014

17 went

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