The holiday season is upon us, so in the interests of making it easier for people to participate in the Field Notes Book Group, we are skipping our December meeting and instead meeting on the third Saturday in January, January 21, at the usual time (11:00 to 12:30), with the usual snacks (donuts and coffee — this month we had some great homemade muffins as well).
To make up for skipping a meeting, we’re going to be reading a longer than usual book. The next selection is A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. A book nominated for the Man Booker prize and a selection of the Oprah Book Club the year it came out, A Fine Balance is a portrayal of the lives of four ordinary people living in an unnamed city by the sea in India during the late 1970’s. Dina is a widow surviving by renting out part of her house to Maneck, a former college student here to learn air conditioning, and two tailors, both “untouchables”, Ishwar and Om. During the state of emergency declared by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, these four people, who would seem to have little in common, become more than just strangers sharing space but something like a family, pulling together in extreme circumstances. It’s a book with all the sweep and historical detail of a saga with Dickensian attention to the lives of the poor and disregarded.
There are copies to be checked out at the Field Library now. Come on in and get your book for January, and prepare for a deep and moving experience for January 21.