Good morning folks! For the first time in what seems like months, I finished the book for book club BEFORE we actually met.
The September book selection was The Next Queen of Heaven by Gregory Maguire.
Maguire, the author of Wicked, is best known for his retelling of children’s stories. I have read almost all of these book and have enjoyed them immensely so I was really looking forward to reading this all new story from him.
With the new millennium approaching, the eccentric town of Thebes grows even stranger. Mrs. Leontina Scales begins speaking in tongues after being clocked by a Catholic statuette. Her daughter, Tabitha, and her sons scheme to save their mother or surrender her to Jesus—whatever comes first. Meanwhile, choir director Jeremy Carr, caught between lust and ambition, fumbles his way toward Y2K. The ancient Sisters of the Sorrowful Mysteries join with a gay singing group. The Radical Radiants battle the Catholics. A Christmas pageant goes horribly awry. And a child is born.
Only a modern master like Gregory Maguire could spin a tale as frantic, funny, and farcical as The Next Queen of Heaven.
My final verdict: 3 out of 5 stars. It took a bit to get into the story. The kooky characters are not really the most relatable and it is hard to pinpoint any reason to really care about the characters throughout the story. I also had to really concentrate to keep all the names straight in my head. Those that are looking for a typical Maguire story might be a bit disappointed because there are many themes and plot lines that left me thinking “Why?”. Despite that less than stellar review, as the story progressed I was really excited to keep reading to see how the two main storylines would eventually intersect. I found myself looking for any spare moment to pick the book up to read even a few pages. Plus, it felt good to read something that required my attention and brain to be engaged. I’ve been reading chick lit and Stephanie Plum books for several months now and I think my brain needed a little break. I wouldn’t say I loved this book, but I was entertained by it. Maguire’s writing style is unique and definitely worth reading.
My book club is pretty informal. We usually chat about the book for 15 minutes or so and then spend the rest of the dinner just catching up. My kind of book club. Last night we met up at The Corner Tavern to discuss and grab a bite to eat.
This place is primarily a bar, but they also have some pretty good food deals. From 4-6:30 you can get 1/2 priced appetizers and a selection of their flatbreads.
The other ladies in my group picked the Prosciutto and Blue Flatbread, the Santa Fe Wrap with pasta salad, and the Chopped Chicken Salad. Everything looked so good!
I decided to get one of the 1/2 priced appetizers which was listed on the menu as “Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Tomato Soup for Dipping”. Seriously. This is a full sized grilled cheese that they cut into little pieces and a full bowl of soup. I’m not complaining! The soup was creamy with bits of tomato texture. For a Fall evening, it was perfect. I paired this with a Petite Sirah wine that I completely forgot the name of, which is a shame because I loved loved loved every ounce of it. <—Locals, if you know, please tell me!
Tater Tots for the table!
Fun Erin Fact: Tater tots are on my favorite treat list. Near the very top. Like right below sushi and beans.
Because I am a genius…
Book club was a great way to start the week. It was nice to just enjoy some time with friends and a great book.
Do you belong to a book club? What is the last book you read?