This book has been on my TBR list for awhile but I just never got around to it. Since I wanted to make sure I read it before the movie comes out this month I thought I'd better get on it!
From the reviews I have read on this book it seems like there are a lot of different opinions with some people loving it while others found it boring and frustrating. Personally I enjoyed the book but I didn't think it was spectacular as it was fairly predictable and I didn't really identify with any of the characters. If you've read this book (which I think most people have by now!) I'd love to hear what you thought of it in the comments below.
I find some of the more controversial books make the best book club books because there's so much more discussion to be had. I love how novels can reveal big life questions and how people can have completely opposite opinions about moral choices.
• I really loved the idea of Janus and the beauty of being on a secluded island surrounded by ocean. (Did anyone else love the book cover of this novel?). For that reason I decided to decorate with lots of blues, and ocean themed items.
• I'm big on keeping things fairly simple (mostly because I don't have the talent required for elaborate Pinterest crafts). For this book club evening I kept it classic with salty and sweet snacks.
• The cupcakes were made with a Betty Crocker cake mix and white Betty Crocker vanilla icing to which I added a small amount of Wilton sky blue food colouring . Total prep time (without including time for cupcakes to cool) was about 25 minutes.
• Good old fashioned popcorn. If you wanted to be more creative you could drizzle it with white chocolate and sprinkle in some blue smarties or m&ms! Simple. And it's healthy right!?
• If you're feeling ambitious you can also make this adorable sea glass candy! Pretty on its own or as a cupcake topper.
• To fit with the theme of Janus, I decorated the snack table with antique looking items including a map box and copper key. If you had an Atlas or globe they would work as well!
• The tassel garland was created using tissue paper from Dollar Tree and the tutorial found here. My version is not nearly as perfect as theirs but from a distance it does the job! I placed mine on the table but you could just as easily add it to the walls, chairs, etc. This took about 45 minutes to make but it can be saved and used again for other events.
• Candles. Always have candles.
These are just a couple questions that I wondered while reading the book. Feel free to ask your own based on your own experience.
1. Do you think that had the Sherbourne's not been isolated for as long as they had been that they would have made the same decision? How does isolation from society affect people?
2. Did you feel sympathy for Isabel? What about Tom? Hannah? Did this change as the novel progressed?
3. What do you make of the title of this book? What did it symbolize to you?
4. What did you think about Dr. Sumpton's advice of cutting Tom and Isabel out of Lucy's life entirely?
5. Did the conclusion of the novel surprise you? Were you expecting something different?
• Listen to some of the classical music that Isabel loves to play on the piano.
• Take a field trip to a nearby light house. Make a beach day or a stargazing adventure out of it.
• Go see the new movie in theatres! (And smuggle in some of your homemade snacks!)
Let me know what you thought of the book and any other creative ways to up your book club game for this novel. Happy Reading!