11 Jan Laughter as the LOL wrap up Sisters Brothers
Another book club spent in laughter, discussing literature, with the lovely ladies I call friends. Once again, I’m so very grateful for the presence of these fifteen women–yes, with new member, Crystal, we have grown–in my life. I eagerly anticipate every meeting, yet each time we gather I am taken aback by what is said; what is sipped and savored; what is shared. I swear I laugh more each time, learn more with each meeting.
To our gracious hostess, Laurie, we thank you for selecting such a great read, The Sisters Brothers, and for supplying fine wine and a departure from festive food! She still had the tree up, but Laurie confessed she’s a little sick of Christmas fare. We thoroughly enjoyed the stuffed mushroom caps, pickles and olives and mini quiches, but most of all, those gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches warmed our stomachs as surely as they made us smile. “What a great idea!” was the consensus. Down home delicious, watch for Laurie’s recipes, coming at you next week. Oh! And of course, there was cake…
And while we’re talking about Laurie, watch for her profile, as well as Crystal’s (second from the left in the above photo) coming to the LOL site soon.
So, what to say about The Sisters Brothers, other than everyone enjoyed it, though some said they struggled a little mid way. Cindy W wasn’t a huge fan and there were mixed feelings about the senseless violence. All agreed it was darkly funny and the characters brilliantly constructed. Vikki said it’s one of her favorites of all time (and Vikki reads a lot!). Yes, it’s quirky, maybe even Canadian, in its unsentimental, straight up, suck-it-up portrayal of the violent wild west as seen through the eyes of a henchman by day, closet poet by night, kind of a character.
I loved it! I thought DeWitt masterfully said so much in so little words. Not your typical Western–heck, not your typical novel–according to some, the book does not follow a traditional, character arc but is rather a journey of one man’s search for himself and struggle for place and identity, separate from the brother he loves, as he meets various characters and ultimately puts his own, twisted- but- true, sense of morality to the test. A chivalrous poet who loves his horse on the one hand but can turn around and kill a man in cold blood with the other, Eli is the perfect anti-hero.
Despite being highly decorated (winner of the 2011 GG Award as well as the Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize; an Amazon #1 book of 2011 and a #1 national bestseller; finalist for the Giller) I don’t know that I’d have picked this book up, just because I’m not a huge western fan and there’s a fair bit of nonchalant violence, but boy, I’m glad the girls read this.
And finally, I leave you with this heartfelt note from Laura, recalling the evening. Gathered at the door, ready to depart, Laurie suggested we get back to the business of shoes. Why not try another exchange? To which we heartily agreed, saying perhaps we should make it a clothing exchange in general. Every meeting members could contribute an article or two– something still wonderful but just a little tired for them– worthy of a friend. Vikki, nodding in agreement, stuffed her hands into the pockets of the car coat she had just retrieved from Laurie’s front closet. Time went on as we conversed some more, before a puzzled look crossed her face, followed by a huge grin. “Why not start now,” she asked. “Since I’m wearing Laurie’s coat.”
I’ll let Laura have the final word:
I am still laughing about the “coat incident”! I think it was the context of the clothing exchange and Vikki’s deadpan delivery of the news that the lovely black coat she was wearing wasn’t her own that totally cracked me up! Add to that, the fact she had been wearing it for some time and hadn’t noticed and Laurie didn’t even realize it was her coat – priceless. Every time I think about it, I start laughing all over again.
Thank you so much, Laurie, for a wonderful, wonderful evening. I loved your gourmet grilled cheese! I feel blessed after every Book Club to have such an eclectically crazy group of girlfriends to meet with, to drink wine with, to consume delectable snacks with, to LOL with…and to even chat about a book! You guys are the best!
Until next time,