BOOK CLUB: STONE MATTRESS BY MARGARET ATWOOD
My most recent read with my book club was Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood. It is a collection of nine stories, three of which are related and one of which is a treat for Atwood readers as it is a sequel to her novel The Robber Bride. The stories are unusual and thought-provoking with the expertly crafted characters I so love to meet in Atwood's fiction. Aging is a theme that ties the majority of the stories together, creating a slightly darker undertone.
This was a pivotal read for my book club (since moving to Bermuda our pub time has morphed to FaceTime). At the start of our club, one bookclubber, who shall remain nameless, was steadfast in the rule that we never read a Margaret Atwood book. He was not a fan like me. It took me a decade, but finally we cracked the spine of an Atwood. The second rule of our club is that we never read an author twice, so this was the chance for Atwood to charm him with her delightful storytelling.
In the end, only two of three book club members praised the book. Atwood is a polarizing author with equal fans to critics, and I was unable to change my fellow bookclubber's opinion. At least he didn't despise the book, giving it instead a so-so rating.
I highly recommend it, but then again, I have been known to praise every Atwood book I read.