Monday, October 22, 2007

Book club

I recently joined a book club and I wasn't quite sure how it would go. In fact, I was a little nervous about attending. I was afraid that I was not as smart as the folks in the group and that I wouldn't have much to contribute. I was feeling a little insecure, but I went in spite of my fears. The book up for discussion was "My Sisters Keeper." I found it to be an easy read. It's about a family with 3 children. One of whom was diagnosed, at age 3, with a very rare and oftentimes fatal form of cancer. The parents of this child decided to have a 3rd child and genetically engineered her to be almost identical to their older daughter's genes in order to use her cord blood to treat the older daughter's cancer. Unfortunately, the cancer raged it ugly head and the story continues with the parents taking more and more from their 3rd child in hopes of saving the eldest daughter.

I thought we'd mostly discuss the question of medical ethics. However, the discussion really focused on mothers and fathers making decisions for their children without really consulting with the children. The question of medical ethics came into play especially when these decisions had to deal with medical issues. In addition, we discussed how parents will, without meaning to, neglect the healthy children to care for the sick one(s).

So, I had a really great time participating in this group. There were 8 of us in attendance. All of us were women. Our ages ranged from early 20's to the mid 40's. (I suspect I was the oldest woman there.) Sitting with 7 other incredibly bright women who were open with their ideas and interested in hearing the ideas of others left me feeling extremely respectful and humble. Bright people are very powerful. I was especially struck by the youngest member of this group and how thoughtful she was in the way she voiced her ideas. I think she was also the brightest of all of us in the room.

The next book for our group discussion is Blindness by Jose Saramango. It's about a community that is struck by an epidemic of blindness. The "authorities" place the blind in an institution. However, a woman gets institutionalized by mistake. The book is about what happens between the people who are institutionalized. I've read it before and enjoyed it. The book club meets on November 12th and I am really looking forward to discussing this book and hearing what others think about it.

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Rosie said...

Sounds fabulous. I love getting together with the SoCal bloggers. We gab for hours about books and life. Feeds your soul some how doesn't it?

Elisabeth said...

Guess what? I am joining a book club too. I still need to find out exactly when the next meeting is, and what I am supposed to read, but I am kind of excited also. I thought it would help me meet some women and other folks who are not affiliated with my university.