So not to brag, Carrie, but…I’m at 57 books, so I think I’m more desperate than you! 😉 Thank you for bringing this Sex and Vanity book club discussion, and friends, thank YOU for your patience. We had some really nasty storms last week with power loss, so once again, our First Friday book club has become a Second Friday book club, but hopefully, we will be back on track soon!
WELL, HELLOOOOOOOO, book friends!!
Is anyone else losing their minds? Just me? I’ve read 52 books this year. That’s not a brag, that’s a cry for help. But seriously, I’m fine. It’s fine. Everything is fine. For real, though, I’m hanging by a fine, frayed thread that smells like hand sanitizer.
BUT … at least we have the horrors of school coming up! What a gift! And by gift I mean complete and total nightmare.
Anyway, I hope you all are feeling less snarky than me, but if you aren’t, I hope you are at least sharing it with people who appreciate it.
In the meantime, I also hope you all are safe and doing what’s best for your family (if someone says this to me one more time they’re getting a serious sneer from me … that will obviously be hidden behind my mask because I’m more frightened by confrontation than COVID).
*smoky bar scene where everyone is perpetually miserable, including and especially myself*
… in walks Sex and Vanity. What a looker!
Sex and Vanity Book Club Discussion
This book truly helped distract me from the chaos that is the world right now. It was a sweet, funny, opulent story that I didn’t realize until after the fact was essentially a Pride and Prejudice retelling. That’s how bad it’s gotten! I don’t recognize Pride and Prejudice!!!!!
I never read the Crazy Rich Asians series by Kwan (calm down!), so I can’t compare the two. I will say though, that I am headed back to read those three (OK?! … jeez)!
This novel focused on Lucie Campbell, a child of an American-born Chinese mother and an upper class New York father.
Kwan really did a deep dive in relation to Lucie’s conflicted feelings about her heritage – typically feeling out of place with her New York side of the family, but feeling she couldn’t fully accept her Chinese heritage either. What were your thoughts on Kwan’s narrative regarding Lucie’s heritage?
We start out with Lucie attending the wedding of a good friend on the island of Capri. Side note: when this is all over, I’m headed straight to Capri with the money I don’t have!
Kwan’s description of Capri’s allure was a huge part of the first half of the book, almost a character in and of itself. Did you get swept away by the island as some of the character’s claimed they did or are you a heartless monster?
We meet George who, frankly, seems pretty weird and Lucie hates him onsite, which seems a little irrational, but I let it slide as she does manage to recognize that he’s crazy hot. He and his mother are traveling together and Kwan really goes for the gusto in describing George’s mom who is completely over the top and not too adept at recognizing social cues. I loved her from the get go, but she was pretty ridiculed, first by Charlotte, Lucie’s cousin, and then by a whole host of other characters at the wedding. Jerks!
What did you think of George’s mother? Too much or adorable? And if you don’t like George’s mom we can’t be friends.
Some interesting things happen on the island (hint: heavy kissing … like, HEAVY) and then some drama and then *whoosh* we’ve popped ahead 5 years and we’re smack dab in the middle of New York City.
What were your thoughts on separating Lucie and George for 5 years? I always get a little nervous with huge time lapses, but I cut this one a break because we would have missed Cecil’s ridiculous proposal. But seriously, after what George did in that cave (ahem!) and then making it right (typical Darcy move … a favorite of mine) I’m not sure I would have let him go! White speedo or not.
New York City really fleshes out Lucie’s character and we get to see the frustration she has with the question of who she really is. Some really fun characters are introduced and even though some were kind of unlikeable, I still enjoyed reading about their shenanigans!
Any particular characters who were your favorite? Least favorite?
Of course it has a happy ending and that’s honestly all I can handle right now, so it really was the perfect book. I highly recommend it as it is a quintessential ‘beach read’ … although going to the beach is questionable right now. But you do you!! If you haven’t picked this fun ride up yet, it’s worth the hype!
And now … onto our next pick!
Meredith and I are super excited about our next pick, The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis, a Good Morning America book club pick!
Read on for the description below, and as always, we are giving away a copy for free! Leave a comment on this blog post by 8/21/20 by 5:30am ET, and as long as you are 18 or older and live in the continental United States, you are eligible to win!
In nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis’s latest historical novel, a series of book thefts roils the iconic New York Public Library, leaving two generations of strong-willed women to pick up the pieces.
It’s 1913, and on the surface, Laura Lyons couldn’t ask for more out of life—her husband is the superintendent of the New York Public Library, allowing their family to live in an apartment within the grand building, and they are blessed with two children. But headstrong, passionate Laura wants more, and when she takes a leap of faith and applies to the Columbia Journalism School, her world is cracked wide open. As her studies take her all over the city, she is drawn to Greenwich Village’s new bohemia, where she discovers the Heterodoxy Club—a radical, all-female group in which women are encouraged to loudly share their opinions on suffrage, birth control, and women’s rights. Soon, Laura finds herself questioning her traditional role as wife and mother. But when valuable books are stolen back at the library, threatening the home and institution she loves, she’s forced to confront her shifting priorities head on . . . and may just lose everything in the process.
Eighty years later, in 1993, Sadie Donovan struggles with the legacy of her grandmother, the famous essayist Laura Lyons, especially after she’s wrangled her dream job as a curator at the New York Public Library. But the job quickly becomes a nightmare when rare manuscripts, notes, and books for the exhibit Sadie’s running begin disappearing from the library’s famous Berg Collection. Determined to save both the exhibit and her career, the typically risk-adverse Sadie teams up with a private security expert to uncover the culprit. However, things unexpectedly become personal when the investigation leads Sadie to some unwelcome truths about her own family heritage—truths that shed new light on the biggest tragedy in the library’s history.
This one had me at ‘New York Public Library’!
Thanks so much for joining our Sex and Vanity book club discussion! As always, we love hearing your thoughts and opinions! Keep them coming!!