I'm pleased to report that Spending provoked an active and interesting discussion among the Fiber Arts book club members. Sarah's thoughtful discussion topics kept us on task, and we were well-behaved throughout. (Sarah usually leads book groups of 3rd graders. She says we are easier to manage. I'm not so sure.) Most of us enjoyed the story, although we seemed to be in consensus that while sexuality plays an important role in the development of the plot, the amount and detail of the descriptions were gratuitous. Pretty bad when you go ho-hum during the sex scenes.
But sex aside, the book is really about other things. It's about the ability to pursue one's artistic gift. It's about relationships and how one lives their life. It's a love story. It's about money and power and sex and how those three biggies get all twined together. And I do think each of those storylines worked. Therefore I make a guarded recommendation for this book. If gratuitous sex is disturbing to you, don't read it. If you can filter it out, there is a worthwhile story to read, and interesting characters to interact with.
UPDATE ON THE MIDWIFE'S TALE
Very enjoyable book to read. It's a story about loving the wrong person, and rejecting one's heritage, and finding fulfillment in unexpected ways. I recommend this one without reservation.
BOOK CLUB BOOK
We are reading The Effect of Living Backward, by Heidi Julavits, for my other book club. Ugh. I'm not loving this book at all. I don't like the plot. I don't like the characters. I don't like the philosophical glibness the author is throwing around. That said, I'm halfway though and not hating it either. I'm hoping that a) when I get to the end it will have something redeeming about it or b) the discussion will open my mind to something redeeming about it. If anyone has read this and can set my mind at rest, I'd sure like to know.