It was a quarantine Tuesday afternoon when I chatted Nicole and ask her if we can read a book together. Well, not really together but more like read a book and discuss it after. When she agreed, we thought it’d be best to call our other friend, Shalimar to read with us. We created a chatroom and named it Pages In Between, which somehow stuck, and decided it’d be a nice name for our little book club. We agreed to read Love In The Time Of Cholera, a Garcia Marquez classic. Nicole said it sounded very timely, and I said it would be good since it’s been several years when I first read that and I’d like to see if I’d still think the same way about it. But the book was too wordy and did a lot of beating around the bush, so much so that we decided to just drop it as it didn’t appear to be our cup of tea. Plus, I suspected it’ll still be the same book of obsesssion, lust, and other activities that defied the ten commandments rather than love, the theme it was trying to portray (though I haven’t gotten around into telling them this).
So we moved on to the next book – we picked Written In The Stars because it has a hint of empowering women. It’s a good YA book oozing with Muslim culture, and in our discussion, I realized that culture has a big role in determining your future. I mean, there are people who’d choose to defy it and decide to place the future in their hands, and I applaud them for that. But still there are those who do not have the strength or even the capital to lead the life they want. In the end, it was too hard to relate with Nalia, the main character of the story, because her family was too tied to their culture, plus she was a minor so she had very limited options.
Safe Haven became our next book, another story of escape and self-redemption. I also read the book some 10 years ago, but who knows what I think about it now. Katie was just like any other woman, who made a mistake of trusting a man and the false sense of security he provided. I still ended loving the book, despite my realization that there’s no man in real life as perfect as Alex, and Kevin must have had an easy way out because now I wanted him to be convicted and pay for his crimes. Plus, it’s Nicholas Sparks and heaven knows how much I obsessed with his works during my late teenage years.
Today we are on our third book – The Woman In The Window. I haven’t read a single page of it, since I need to do some required reading for the writing workshop I just got in (yay! I’ll let you in on that in another post). Shalimar found out that it was going to be a film that’ll be released this year, which just added up to our excitement. But to be honest, most of my excitement comes from the fact that I have friends who are doing the same thing and we can discuss our thoughts and feelings about it with no judgement whatsoever. In this world and generation where most men smartshame and mansplain women, otherwise mock them for wearing too much makeup and asking why don’t they just pick up a book, you should be able to fight for your territory like queens do. And sometimes, you need alliance from other queens as well.
P. S. No, I don’t identify myself as a feminist. Just celebrating what women can do.