Tuesday, April 10, 2012
We liked how no one owned much of anything, yet they made such a difference for each other, creating a family of sorts with the cafe at the hub. Joanne laughed, saying that the title didn't just apply to the cafe, but also to the people it attracted. They seemed to bloom, were opening up, when they came into the cafe community.
I struggled with Sam Neely because I felt his demise was just a little too tidy, eliminating him and his treat from the circle of friends. Kathy thought it would be poetic justice were he to become a paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair like Caney.
The one area we all had a problem with was Helen. Mary didn't get the whole Helen thing, and Maureen agreed, saying she hadn't furthered the story for her. We saw the need for a Helen-like element, to motivate Vena and keep her striving for something outside herself, but the elements of their story were disjointed and confusing. The ending was as bewildering as the story and the timeline was unclear. Carolyn thought it was mighty coincidental that Helen had been to their old house a year earlier and Vena just happened to stumble upon it the following year and also find the note that her sister had left her. Kathy was incredulous that given their history and how hard Vena had struggled that she didn't keep the note.
That said, it was a delightful book, and as Kathy said, it reminded her of Fried Green Tomatoes. We agreed that the hard work we invested in this list has paid off for the fourth month running and we have started jotting down titles to consider for next year.