CapRadio Reads

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The House Girl

March 2014 book selection

The House Girl

by Tara Conklin

February 27, 2014

Can you believe it's almost March already? February has flown by, with some gorgeous weather, and thankfully a little bit of rain, too.  Have you been snuggling up with our book choice this month, reading the story of Lina and Josphine? Perhaps you have been intrigued by the story enough to do a little research on the reparations issues or the world of art sales and museum collections.  Although fiction is fiction, a great book always leads to research and more reading, to expand on the ideas of the first book.  As an example, after reading House Girl, I was drawn to the new Sue Monk Kidd book, The Invention of Wings.  It's about a slave whose art was both storytelling and quilting.  The similarities between the books were both interesting and disturbing, but together the books formed a much fuller picture of the lives of all the characters.  For future selections of CapRadio Reads books, I am toying with having the group read "related" books, but not all the same book in a month.  There seem to be a plethora of "Wives" books being published.  Perhaps we will choose some of them as our focus.  Whatever we read, I think we all agree reading is time well spent.  Hope you will use some of your valuable time by joining us, Tuesday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. in our Community Room to discuss The House Girl.  See you then.

February 19, 2014

Reparations for slavery have long been an issue that both divides and frightens people, but it always starts an interesting conversation.  This book revolves around a reparation lawsuit.  In looking for the "perfect" client to lead this suit, our two lead characters "meet".  How do you feel about this? Does the lawsuit feel too contrived, a vehicle to gather all the characters together?  

The coincidiences in the book happen with so much frequency, and yet, they move the story along.  I don't know about you, but Josephine and Lina became people I cared about. I wanted it to work out for both of them.  If you are still reading, I don't want to include spoilers here, so for now, I will just say, join us! We can talk about it!  Please sign up on our main page to join us on Tuesday, March 11th, at 6:30 p.m. for our CapRadio Reads Face to Face discussion of The House Girl.

Tara Conklin has all the qualifications necessary to write this surprising and rich tale that intertwines the lives of a seventeen year old house slave named Josphine in antebellum Virginia and an ambitious young lawyer named Lina in 2004 New York, who is working on a class action suit seeking reparations for the descendants of slaves.  Conklin, who has worked as a lawyer, has a degree in history and now devotes her time to writing, and it is time well spent.

House Girl was named on of the Best Books of 2013 by NPR and has received accolades from reviewers and fellow authors.

The story runs in parallel, going between Virginia in 1852 and New York City in 2004, but the two are vitally connected almost from the start.  There are secrets and violence, passion and redemption. This book will grab you and keep you with it.

Please make sure to sign up early so you can grab one of the 40 seats at our table for what will be a riveting, and possibly contentious, conversation. I look forward to seeing you,  Tuesday, March 11th in our Community Room. 

As always, thank you for reading.