Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Women of Brewster Place - Book Discussion

Now that we've recovered (somewhat) from our election-induced stress, it's time to discuss our current Read With Us book, The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor. Carole, Kym, and I are each posting a different discussion question on our blogs today, and you are welcome to answer, discuss, or just leave a comment with your opinion about the book. Thanks in advance for participating in whatever way works for you! 

Here's one of the things that struck me about the book:

Each of the women in The Women of Brewster Place copes with enormous loss in their lives, but each one of them manages their grief differently. Compare, for instance, Mattie’s loss of her house and her son with Ceil’s loss of her baby. How do the women support one another? What could these women learn from each other? 

Then tonight at 7:00 pm Eastern, we'll be having a Zoom book discussion! If you haven't already done so, please let Carole, Kym, or me know that you would like to attend and we'll make sure you receive an invitation. I hope to see as many of you that can join us (with your knitting and beverage of choice). We'll have fun and maybe even discuss the book a little bit! 


  1. Can't wait to see and talk with you all!

  2. Hi - actually - I will be available to join your discussion tonight. I had my days mixed up! I did read the book, although have not seen the movie. If you want to send me the link to your Zoom meeting, I would really enjoy taking part. The link to my email is over at my blog. Thanks!

  3. The author did a remarkable job of developing these characters. (What a debut! I want to read some of her other novels, now, to watch her development as a story teller.) Mattie, of course, was the most compelling, perhaps simply because her story was the longest, and I love the way Gloria Naylor advanced her story: watching Basil at the kitchen table, his little legs barely reaching "the top rung of his chair. And when they had reached the second rung, Miss Eva would be dead." (Page 40 of the Kindle edition.) And "The Two," with their ethnicity adding complexity to the general intolerance over their sexuality. But even minors characters — the nosy, judgmental neighbors; the boys at the wall — came to life.

    As for how women support one another: Pulling away from the book a moment, things like tonight's Zoom group sure do help in these stressful times! I plan to treat it as if I'm sitting in the room with you all, talking and listening while knitting a few rows and sipping a Highland coffee!

    1. Thank you, Karel! You have obviously read the book carefully and I appreciate your thoughtful answers. I'm glad that you have reminded me that this was Naylor's debut novel, as I had forgotten that because it reads like one written by a more mature author. I agree that even the minor characters are well drawn. I look forward to meeting you tonight, seeing what you are knitting, and hearing more from you!

  4. I think the characters were just like we are in our lives. Everyone processes things differently and if you are fortunate enough...you've got a community of good friends to help you along.

  5. Every one is different and every one processes grief differently. I will admit to sometimes having a hard time remembering who was who but as I went along it got better. Most of them seemed to care about each other which helped them deal with their lives.

  6. Hi, I never got the link to join you on zoom. Maybe next time. I think Mattie was my favorite character. I think I related to her most, not because I have ever lost my house, but because I feel like I have given my all to a child who then betrayed my trust. Probably TMI, but I think that is why I most related to Mattie. Mattie then goes on to progress her grief by creating a community of love and support for the other women who had also experienced loss. I just want to say that I thought all of the men in this book were perfectly horrible!

  7. As I said on Kym's blog, I really felt like all the characters were so broken (Like the Island of Misfit Toys). Some used their brokenness as a shield or a weapon, some ignored it and kept busy with other things, some tried to talk about it, but I felt no one really listened.

    Sorry I could not join you all last night, but Tuesday's are FaceTime with Vivi :)

  8. I fell off the earth and totally forgot about book group this week! I'm very sorry I missed the Zoom!


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