And so, randomly, Terry Anne, Bruce and Luke have moved next door for a couple of months. Yes, literally next door. They needed a place to stay, my wonderful neighbour was abroad for a while and the rest is history. It made sense to grab the opportunity of working together with both hands and so we decided to hold a book club discussion about Monday Morning Emails at my place.
Ten guests showed up and once they’d helped themselves to a drink and a snack we kicked off the event by asking everyone to introduce themselves. No two women shared the same story. There were lovepats, ATCKs, parents, childless, marrieds, singles, those who’d moved countless times and those who’d moved once. Yet, despite their disparate experiences all seemed to have enjoyed our book:
“It was very brave,” said Maggie.
“There was so much information,” added Monique.
“I thought it was very very powerful,” chipped in Colleen. “I remember reeling from it. The honesty. The openness and how real it was.”
“Imagine if it had been available 20 years ago!” said Emma.
Terry Anne and I had prepared a list of questions and you can find them on the site’s Book Club page. Little did we realise that it would take more than half of the two hours we had allocated to get started on them. Unsurprisingly, even without our guidance everyone had so much to share. So much wisdom between them. So many topics they wanted to discuss.
We asked them what issues they would have written about if they had written the book, half-expecting them all to chime, “the kids, of course!” But they didn’t. Instead we got:
- Divided family
- Getting older and retirement
- How to acquire a sense of belonging
- Career changes
- Parenting choices
- Adapting or not adapting
- Moving Teens (at last someone said what we had expected)
- Feeling stuck and unable to move on
- Repatriating as a family, each person with their own personal identity
And so we shared our stories, attempted to ask our questions and listened to each other. Of course we ran over our allotted time by a considerable amount. We bonded, made friends and above all we all knew we cared. We cared about each other. We cared about the issues raised in the book and that while we all had different priorities we had much, so much in common.
It was a privilege to be able to host this event. Maybe you would like to host a book club of your own? Maybe you would like one of us to join you by Skype or in person? But for now, we’d love to know what your answer would be to the following question too:
Q: If you were to write a Monday Morning Emails yours, which issue would you be most compelled to write about?