You'll love this one...!! A book club & more discussion

Group Themed Reads: Discussions > Our January reads - Peony in Love and the Monsters of Templeton

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message 1: by Jenny, honorary mod - inactive (new)

Jenny (notestothemoon) | 846 comments I will open up the discussion folders for these two books on January 1st 2009.

You are welcome to start reading them now.

Donna will lead the discussion for Peony in Love, and little old me will lead the Monsters of Templeton discussion.

Instead of one folder for spoilers and one for non spoilers, this time the folders will be one 'lead discussion folder' and one 'say what ever you want folder'. I'm sure I'll come up with a better name than that though :P

message 2: by Jenny, honorary mod - inactive (last edited Dec 26, 2008 08:24AM) (new)

Jenny (notestothemoon) | 846 comments

About this book:

I finally understand what the poets have written. In spring, moved to passion; in autumn only regret.

For young Peony, betrothed to a suitor she has never met, the lyrics from The Peony Pavilion mirror her own longings. In the garden of the Chen Family Villa, amidst the scents of ginger, green tea, and jasmine, a small theatrical troupe is performing choice scenes from this epic opera, a live spectacle few girls, even women, have ever seen. Like the heroine in the drama, Peony too is cloistered and from a wealthy family, trapped like a good-luck cricket in a bamboo-and-lacquer cage. Though raised to be obedient, Peony has dreams of her own.

Peony's mother is against the production: “Unmarried girls should not be seen in public.” But Peony's father prevails, assuring his wife that proprieties will be maintained. Women will watch the opera from behind a screen to hide them from view. Yet through its cracks, Peony catches sight of an elegant, handsome man with hair as black as a cave -- and is immediately overcome with too many emotions.

So begins Peony's unforgettable journey of love and destiny, desire and sorrow -- as Lisa See's haunting new novel takes readers back to 17th century China, after the Manchus seize power and the Ming dynasty is crushed. Steeped in traditions and ritual, this story brings to life another time and place -- even the intricate realm of the afterworld, with its protocols, pathways, and stages of existence . . . a vividly imagined place where one’s soul is divided into three, ancestors are worshiped, misdeeds are punished, and hungry ghosts wander the earth.

Based on a true story, Peony in Love uses the richness and magic of the Chinese afterlife to transcend death and explore the many manifestations of love. Ultimately, it’s about universal themes: the bonds of female friendship, the power of words, the desire all women have to be heard, and finally those emotions that are so strong that they transcend time, place, and perhaps even death.

message 3: by Jenny, honorary mod - inactive (last edited Dec 26, 2008 08:32AM) (new)

Jenny (notestothemoon) | 846 comments

About this book:

The day I returned to Templeton, steeped in disgrace, the fifty-foot corpse of a monster surfaced in Lake Glimmerglass…

So begins this spellbinding debut novel: part a contemporary story of a girl’s search for her father, part historical novel, and part ghost story, at its core it is a story of how one town holds the secrets of a family.

Flawed but lovable Willie (nee Wilhelmina) Cooper arrives on the doorstep of her childhood home in Templeton, New York State —where her hippie-turned-born-again Christian mom, Vi, still lives—in the wake of a disastrous affair with her much older, married archaeology professor. That same day, the discovery of a prehistoric monster in the lake brings a media feeding frenzy to the quiet, basket ball obsessed town her ancestors founded. Broken-hearted and believing herself pregnant, Willie then learns that the story her mother had always told her about her father has all been a lie. He wasn’t the one-night stand Vi had led her to imagine, but someone else entirely. Someone from this very town.

As Willie puts her archaeological skills to work digging for the truth about her lineage, a chorus of voices from the town’s past—both sinister and disturbing—rise up around her to tell their version of their own stories. In the end, dark secrets come to light, past and present blur, old mysteries are finally put to rest, and the surprising truth about more than one monster is revealed.

Lauren Groff's debut novel, The Monsters of Templeton, is everything a reader might have expected from this gifted writer, and more...
Stephen King

bold and beautiful
Lorrie Moore

message 4: by Jo (new)

Jo (Jo_Wales) | 62 comments Can't wait for January's read!

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