Ah, now, those reading clubs I was discussing the other day . . . Yesterday, I hosted my second event at the library for a book titled My Sister’s Voice by Mary Clark. It is a contemporary work of fiction about identical twin girls who were separated when they were toddlers. One twin is deaf and the other is able to hear. The deaf twin is a spectacular artist and the hearing twin is a horrible writer. In her mid-twenties the deaf twin discovers her hearing twin. All sorts of anger bubbles to the surface, a mystery becomes tangled and uneasy and stunning surprises end the novel.
The most prevalent themes were deafness, twins, and art. I decided to recreate an art gallery in our events room in the library. Similar to the great hostess of bygone era, I also dressed the part, as a Gallerina; the girl who runs the art gallery. Ironically, I did not capture any photographs of myself. I set the stage symmetrically with a nod to the identical twins. I framed facsimiles of deaf painters works and printed photographs of novel hearing aids. Family members lent me some sculptures. Since, I am fortunate enough to work in a joint library, which is a public library on a secondary academy. I commissioned five pieces from the high school Art Club. The products of the adolescent artists were phenomenal! Any gallery worth its salt, serves refreshments, but alas we were a public facility I set out sparkling cider and gourmet cheese and crackers. As per usual, I also had a table of material available to coincide with the major themes.
The discussion was lively and unscripted as I did not create preplanned questions. Many of the deaf culture inquiries were directed to me and the twin sense was directed to two ladies in the group; one who has twin children and the other; twin granddaughters. I am constantly amazed how many people have a connection with hearing impaired children! I almost feel as if I was raised in a hole! The ladies studied the artwork, choose books for check out, and nibbled on refreshments at the close of the session. I told them to hold on to their hats, because next month we shall be indulging in a Titanic Extravaganza Finale! One lady was sorely disappointed that she would not be able to attend as she is heading back to Maryland in a fortnight. She held on my arm and said she so throughly enjoyed my book clubs experiences. Let us hope next season she can cajole her spouse into staying two more weeks in April!