I met last night with one of the best book clubs ever. It's a mystery book club that meets monthly at Malaprop's, Asheville's much lauded independent bookstore. They had chosen (at my suggestion) The Day of Small Things.
After making the suggestion however, I wondered if I'd done the right thing. I think this book is one of my best and it stands alone, unlike the Elizabeth books, but it's not a traditional mystery.
There's a murder and a bit of a mystery but the reader only becomes aware of this near the end. Plus there's quite a lot of woo-woo, aka paranormal, goings on. And lots of what I think of as clever hints and allusions that the ordinary reader in a hurry is likely to miss.
Well. My worries were unfounded. Judging by their very intelligent and precise questions about the book, this group had read carefully and attentively. And (unless they were just being polite) appreciatively.
They liked it! They really liked it! The dialect, the magic, the characters, the snake-handling, Ronnie Winemiller's sweet ride, Mr. Aaron (another of my especial favorites,) and, of course, the three incarnations of Miss Birdie.
It was an author's dream -- readers who really get what you tried to do.