One of my favorite things about my job is when I get to lead the monthly book club at a local senior center once a month. Don’t ask me how a teen librarian ended up with this task – it doesn’t make sense, but I love it.
I didn’t choose the booklist for 2015 because the branch’s previous teen librarian chose them before I started. This is good and bad. It’s good because when the ladies don’t like a book they can’t blame me for it since I didn’t choose it. It’s bad because when the ladies don’t like a book they can blame me for it because I am representing The Library. May’s book was Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson and let me tell ya, the women were not pleased. It’s a “historical novel” that takes place during WWI but the war is happening in the background the entire time and a weird love story takes center stage. At the end there’s a fairly graphic sex scene that lasts for a few pages, steering from the typical course of the predictable “…” authors use to allude to the deed. The women went nuts over it! I was nervous to mention anything about the scene, but this group has now taught me that women 70+ enjoy talking about sex more than women 20+ enjoy talking about sex.
The main character becomes an ambulance driver for the war and there are multiple scenes describing having to cut the clothes off of wounded soldiers. At the end of the book when she’s about to do the deed she “sees a man” for the first time. Imagine my surprise (and delight) when one of my favorite ladies in her late 70’s with her delicate, frail voice starts going off on a tangent:
“The author tries to say she’s never seen a man before when she was around wounded soldiers all the time! She cut their clothes off before surgery! You’re trying to tell me she never snuck a peek? She’s not as innocent as the author wants us to think, we all know she snuck looks when she could! Didn’t we all?”
Ladies and gentleman, the book was terrible but the conversation was A+