One of my winter hobbies includes reading. I started a local book club, we get together once a month to discuss a book and try a new bottle of wine. Last month the book was the Glass Castle and the wine was the White Nun. Both were excellent! This month we’re reading “Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven” by Fannie Flagg – a very upbeat, fun novel.
Some members of our reading group are reading an extra novel to discuss this month as part of the One Book South Dakota. The book is “The Master Butchers Singing Club” by Louise Erdrich. I would highly recommend it. I just finished it today and can hardly wait for the book discussion we’ll have at the Irene Library on Nov. 17th with an English prof from Mount Mary.
I’ve read a few novels about immigrants to the US but I think this book is one that will really stick with me. Although it is fiction it is set in historical fact. I was very much into genealogy after my father had his stroke in 1991 and spurred by the opportunity to visit the Czech Republic in 1994 when I had the opportunity to see the villages that my grandmother (Marie Vitek from Tlumocov) and grandfather (Josef Vitek from Veprikov) had immigrated from in 1910 and 1913 respectively. My sister and I spent time with my father’s first cousins and their families in both villages. It was so amazing, an experience that will stay with me for a life time.
The “The Master Butchers Singing Club” gave me more insight/perspective on what it might have been like for my grandfather, who emigrated from Czechoslovakia prior to WWI to avoid inscription (or to avoid becoming cannon fodder), who then sent a son to fight in WWII.