October 2, 2014 – Notes

 Full attendance:

Liz Clarke, Vivian Krone, Janice Loschiavo, Lois Pagnozzi, Meta Pitrelli, Cathy Quinn, Sharon Rome, Donna Sabetta, Barbara Santillo, Tina Segali, Marilyn Sinisi, Jeri Stangl, Joan Swensen.

Book & Author: The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty.

To celebrate our 75th book, there were toasts to the founders, photos, and strawberries in champagne. The feast included quiches, stuffed breads, carrot salad, an Italian salad, cheese and crackers and zucchini bites. To eat or to discuss was the dilemma.

Tina opened the discussion with a postcard sent to her grandmother sometime at the end or after WW1. The few words were in English and it was signed, “From your loving Alfred Pietrobelli.” Even grandmothers hold secrets. Cathy told the group about her aunt who had waited for her beau during the war. The aunt went to meet his ship when he returned; she left before he had a chance to see her. Who knows why or what happened? Barbara spoke of her friend Harold who all had assumed led a quiet, bachelor life. Upon his death, letters from a woman who had loved him were found. Donna mentioned how, in the past, secrets often were created because a person might love someone of whom their family would not approve. Joan told us about an uncle who divorced his wife, was ostracized by his family, remarried, divorced that woman, and then finally remarried the first wife and was reaccepted back by the family.

Questions and Comments regarding The Husband’s Secret:

  • Does everyone have secrets?
  • Would you have opened the letter?
  • Vivian told of having all her girlfriends over for “truth night”, while her brother hid in the closet. The next day everyone knew who liked whom.
  • Liz noted that Cecilia almost wanted something to happen so her life could be more interesting.
  • Lois added that Cecilia relished having something she could hold over her husband’s head.
  • Was there an element of relief on Cecilia’s part that her husband wasn’t having an affair (just killed someone?!?)? All responded resoundingly in the negative.
  • Were you surprised that Rachel was capable of such a violent act? Some felt sorry for Rachel since she had to deal not only with the deaths of her daughter, her husband and her parents, but the upcoming departure of her son, daughter-in-law and beloved grandchildren.
  • No one could quite explain the significance of the Berlin Wall in the book.
  • There was much discussion of the relationship between the cousins Tess and Felicity, and of course Felicity and Tess’s husband.
  • Cathy felt that Cecilia’s husband was quite self-centered leaving the letter for his wife to discover. He had no concern for anyone but himself.   (There was some relief from the group that the letter revealed not incest, but murder!)
  • Tess enjoyed being Cecilia’s confidante when she was so ill.
  • Time ran out before we had a chance to talk about forgiveness and the all-important epilogue. (Was the husband really guilty?)

To celebrate the milestone of the 75th book, members gave the gift of a book to another member whose name she had picked out of a hat:

  • Jeri picked her own name out of the hat! She decided to get herself the new Doris Kearns Goodwin book, The Bully Pulpit.
  • Vivian gave Liz Isabel Allende’s Daughter of Fortune.
  • Liz gave Barbara The Swerve and fragrant friend soap.
  • Barbara gave Tina a tome on the 85 years of the Oscarsl
  • Tina gave Janice a book on the Tudors and a small guide book of London.
  • Janice wrote Joan a poem and presented it to her in a frame. Joan also received a 2015 datebook and a book holder.
  • Joan gave Vivien Behind the Beautiful Forevers.
  • Meta had Sharon and Sharon had Lois. When Sharon forgot to get the book, Meta said to give Lois the book for Sharon, All the Light I Cannot See. What a friend!
  • Lois gave Donna The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee.
  • Donna gave Meta
  • Cathy gave Marilyn Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants.
  • Marilyn gave Cathy Cuckoo’s Calling.

Happy birthday was sung to Meta, Jeri and Donna who celebrate their birthdays in October. A chocolate cake by Sharon, a lemon cake by Meta, and pumpkin squares by Cathy were enjoyed by all.

The book was awarded a 2.75 rating.

Next Meeting: Thursday, November 20, 5:00 p.m., at Vivian’s house. There are no assignments at the moment. We will revisit this as we get closer to the date. The group will read Barbara’s choice, The Razor’s Edge, by W. Somerset Maugham. Cathy will choose for January and Tina for February. Donna is on hold until she returns from Florida.

The December meeting will be skipped. Beginning in January, we will revert to meeting on the first Wednesday of each month. The dates are:

January 7 at Janice’s house.

February 4 at Barbara’s house.

March 4 at Liz’s house.

April 1 at Lois’ house.

May 6 – location TBD.

June 3 – location TBD.

Submitted by Tina Segali

October 5, 2014