"Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe" ~ Neil Gaiman (A Game of You)


The Persian Pickle Club

The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas is the book chosen for my Book Club this month. Since my health precludes me from attending Book Club these days (pout), here are the fascinating insights I would have shared:

I initially found the homespun, country-girl voice of the book to be a little much for me. At first, I thought the story would have been better told if the voice weren't so thick. I realized, however, that it made me feel immediately more sympathetic with Rita. I, too, was a city girl, an outsider. As I grew to know the other characters, the tone felt much more natural. It faded into the background as the story commanded my attention. I also noticed that as I grew to care more for the members of the Persian Pickle Club, I started to like Rita less and less.

I loved Queenie when she "accidentally" made a rhubarb pie with Swiss chard. I loved Blue Massie for showing up in the nick of time. I loved Grover when he cried once he realized Queenie was unharmed. I loved Agnes for sacrificing her happiness to take care of her parents. I loved all those women who showed up armed with cakes and puddings and casseroles and scones whenever there was trouble.

It's easy to daydream and think, "Wouldn't it be nice to have a group of friends like that?" Alas, I just don't think it's possible these days. Those women led very simple, very connected lives. What else did they have going on that would keep them from spending hours every week quilting? We have cell phones and car pools and sports and music and Scouts and church and PTA and clubs and meetings... We don't have time for each other any more. We're content with a passing hello, a moment on the curb as we drop kids off or pick them up. We don't share our personal lives. Yet, I'm sure most of us yearn for that kind of friendship. How do you get beyond the superficial?

And finally -- do we really know who killed Ben Crook?


Sue Jackson said...

So sorry you couldn't make it to your book club, but I enjoyed your review!

This sounds good, though I often have the same reaction to books about a close group of friends - does that really exist today?

I am very fortunate to have two wonderful, close friends here in town (most of my friends are old friends in other places). Our three sons have been best friends since kindergarten, 10 years ago, and over the years, we've become closer and closer, too. But most of the time, we can barely find time to get together! Book group every 6 weeks is our night out together. We used to walk together every Wednesday morning but I haven't been able to do that in a while.

But now we have all these wonderful, virtual friends, right?


Carrot Jello said...

I liked this book, so I bought another book by Sandra Dallas called, "Alice's Tulips". I do not recommend it.
Just FYI

Shelli said...

Sue -- I did think about you guys while reading this book! It seems like we don't have all the other distractions that keep us apart.

Carrot -- thank you for the non-recommendation! I hate it when I buy a book because I loved an author's previous work, and then it turns out to be awful. (See my review of The Mermaid Chair, for an example!)