Where should I sit? Three giggling 11- and 12-year-old girls were on the couch and two on chairs, with the four other moms in a horseshoe facing them. Everyone enjoying freshly baked chocolate brownies, the girls talking in breathless voices, the grown-ups friendly but a bit shyer and more subdued.
Hesperus and I were at the organizational meeting of our new mother-daughter book group. A mom of one of Hesperus’s best friends, who’s in a similar group with her older daughter, invited us to take part.
After nearly an hour of discussion the ten of us chose our first book: all 594 pages of Stephenie Meyer’s The Host.
I waded through the first two Twilight books but could not bring myself to read the third. I’d never choose to read The Host. But that’s what book groups are for—to encourage you to try genres, books, and authors you’ve never read before.
Halfway through, I’m enjoying Meyer’s epic of peaceful parasites (“souls”) who use human bodies as hosts more than I expected.
The group will rotate to a different house each month. The mother-daughter hosts decide on the book for the month it’s at their house (or bring in two or three options for everyone to vote on). I volunteered our place for the second meeting.
“Let’s make sure the house is really clean, okay Mom?” Hesperus says as we buckle our helmets and fetch our bicycles from back yard. I careen down the hill but Hesperus outpaces me once we turn south on Siskiyou. She races along, turning onto our street before I’ve even cleared the library, mouth open in a smile, heart pumping, limbs strong.
I sat next to the girls on the plush green couch and went back for thirds on the brownies. Now my daughter and I just need to agree on the next book we’ll read.
Are you in a book group? Have you ever thought of joining or starting a mother-daughter book group? Do you have any suggestions for books both 11-year-olds and 30- and 40-something moms would enjoy?
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