Wednesday, January 23, 2008

book clubbing in January

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult was chosen as a filler when it took longer to set up our voting than we expected. Having read a number of Picoult's other books (Keeping Faith, Mercy, My Sister's Keeper, Nineteen Minutes, The Pact, Plain Truth, and The Tenth Circle), I was sure that Vanishing Acts would be good discussion fodder.

The issue at hand in Vanishing Acts is whether it is ever acceptable to kidnap a child.

One thing that we all agreed on is the Picoult tried to cram way too much stuff into this book. The novel could have easily been made into two and there wouldn't be so much to distract from the main story. (Honestly even though Fitz was a main character, he really didn't need to be in the story at all; then there was Ruthann...)

Since Picoult's general modus operandi is to take an issue and blur the lines so much that you really can no longer see it as a black-and-white issue it was interesting that that wasn't the case in this book (at least with the main issue, Andrew's antics in jail are a different matter entirely). As a reader, your support of Andrew and his decision never really wavers throughout the book.

What I found most interesting about my book club discussion is that most members who hadn't read Picoult before were interested in reading her other books, while most of the members who had read her before were ambivalent about reading her in the future.

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