An interview with Lucie Pettis, facilitator for the Contemporary Fiction Book Club at the Glenwood library.
What is your group reading this month? We will be discussing The Dive from Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer. We will not meet in December since it's so busy and will meet next on Jan. 6. Everyone is welcome. People can come in for one month or more. It's a very open and casual membership.
How do you define contemporary fiction when you are making selections? I try to choose fresh titles within the last five to 10 years. They don't have to be set in contemporary times but have been written within the last decade. The club likes authors who have been recognized for quality, so we pick heavily from award-winning authors and books.
What have been the favorites? The club is composed of a core of five people who have been together since 2001, plus people who come and go. We enjoyed Three Junes by Julia Glass, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan. An all-time favorite was The Hero's Walk by Anita Rau Badami. It came out in 2001. It has won prizes all over Canada and the British Commonwealth.
Why is this such a favorite? It had wonderful characters and an exotic location. It was set in India. We really related to the story of a young girl, who was orphaned in Canada and was taken to India by her Indian grandparents. It was amusing. We got to see the cultural transition as a Canadian girl is introduced to the Indian culture, such as food and ways of life. The book had a lot of charm and humor, and helped you understand a whole other culture, a very different one from ours. It's the kind of book that you're sorry when it ends. You want to know what happens to these people.
Have there been books that your group has not cared for? Yes, On Green Dolphin Street by Sebastian Faulks. It's about diplomat spouses in the Cold War. It was set partially in Georgetown, but this story didn't click with the people in our club. They didn't find it too believable.