We gathered in the living room on mismatched couches with the propane fire glowing. It wasn't exactly Regency, but it was the best I could do. We found the rose water in the Little Iced Cakes a surprising (and not necessarily nice) taste on our modern Canadian palates.
Usually our gatherings begin with sharing personal stories and troubles, although I don't recall what we discussed that night. I remember that we turned the talk toward the book sooner than we usually did. Perhaps we all wanted to get it over with.
I asked the questions I'd prepared about my book Expectations (See Once Upon a Book Club: Part Two). Here's what I remember of the answers:
"The language was easy to follow."
"I hated Lydia. She was horrible." (This made me laugh. I loved writing Lydia, but I may have gone too far.)
"Some parts were so well written while others weren't. I'm not sure why." (I was grateful for the honesty, but I wish I had asked which scenes I should fix.)
"I liked the part with the pig." (See chapter XII).
All in all, my friends were extremely kind in their reviews, but the night was all a bit awkward. I'm grateful they were willing to try the book club experiment, but I haven't repeated it since. I'd love to hear if any other writers have tried this!
For a great story about the good, the bad and the ugly in book clubs, I highly recommend a Morley's Book Club by Stuart McLean