Tag Archives: lost and found

Return of the Online Book Club!

I am excited to announce that the EDIWTB Online Book Club is back!

Here’s how the online book club works. I choose a book, and EDIWTB readers who are interested in participating sign up by sending me their name, email address and home address. Participants receive a copy of the book in the mail, courtesy of the publisher. About a month later, on a pre-selected date, I post a review of the book here, and then the book club discussion takes in the comments section of the blog.

It’s a lot of fun, and all you have to do is be one of the first 15 to sign up.

The book is Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst, and we’ll be discussing it on August 2, 2016. I picked Harmony because I really enjoyed two of Parkhurst’s prior novels – Lost and Found and The Nobodies Album. Her books are so different – from each other and from most novels that I read. Here’s what Harmony is about:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel, a taut, emotionally wrenching story of how a seemingly “normal” family could become desperate enough to leave everything behind and move to a “family camp” in New Hampshire–a life-changing experience that alters them forever.

How far will a mother go to save her family? The Hammond family is living in DC, where everything seems to be going just fine, until it becomes clear that the oldest daughter, Tilly, is developing abnormally–a mix of off-the-charts genius and social incompetence. Once Tilly–whose condition is deemed undiagnosable–is kicked out of the last school in the area, her mother Alexandra is out of ideas. The family turns to Camp Harmony and the wisdom of child behavior guru Scott Bean for a solution. But what they discover in the woods of New Hampshire will push them to the very limit. Told from the alternating perspectives of both Alexandra and her younger daughter Iris (the book’s Nick Carraway), this is a unputdownable story about the strength of love, the bonds of family, and how you survive the unthinkable.

If you’d like to participate in the book club, send me an email at gayle@everydayiwritethebookblog.com with the following:

name

email address

home address

I will let you know if you’re one of the first 15 to sign up. Thank you to Penguin Random House for providing the books!

LOST AND FOUND by Carolyn Parkhurst

Back in August, I blogged about Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst. I just finished it. I liked it, didn’t love it. 

I am a big fan of "The Amazing Race," so I enjoyed all the background details about filming an around-the-world reality TV show.  I also liked the descriptions of the places the contestants visited and the tasks they had to complete. The best part of the book, though, is Parkhurt’s exploration of the different characters, what motivated them to come on the show, and their relationships with their partners.  The narration rotates among the characters, but the plot moves ahead steadily, thankfully with little repetition of detail or plot points.

My complaints are: 1) some characters were less well-drawn than others, which ultimately made them less compelling; 2) the gay theme (a few characters are gay – some in, some out, some in denial) is overdone – it tended to pervade the whole book; and 3) the contestants were way too cynical and unhappy for this naive TV viewer.  I watch "The Amazing Race" to escape from my own reality for an hour a week; I like to believe that the players are having fun and savoring the incredibly unique experience they’re having, regardless of whether they’re winning.  I realize that Parkhurst is satirizing the genre; I guess I didn’t need to have the genre satirized.

All of that said, Lost and Found is well-written, engaging, and entertaining. I did enjoy it and would recommend it.