Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Clay Girl

Heather sent a care package for my book club
She wanted to be here in person, but we figured out the next best thing...
Last night, my book club reconvened for the year. We take the summer off, as most people are busy and all over the place. In June, we plan out some of the books we plan to read over the course of the year, then take the summer to tackle a few of the TBR pile. By September, we are ready to get back into it.

It is hard to believe that my little book club is into year 9 already. Where does the time go? We have grown into a pretty vibrant group of women though, and I wouldn't trade my ladies in for anything. As I hosted this month, I decided to start our year with a little pizzazz. First, let me tell you how I came to pick up The Clay Girl though.

The Clay Girl 

by Heather Tucker

A table set with wine and Clay Girl treats

Back in the spring, a girlfriend of mine recommended The Clay Girl, by Heather Tucker. From the first page, she loved the prose and the story. As I respect her literary opinion, I too picked up the book. I am always looking for a new book to read, plus I needed a recommendation for my book club. As soon as I started to read Ari's story, I was sold too.

With the power of social media, Corrie's praise attracted the attention of Heather. She commented on Corrie's Facebook thread and I chimed in too, telling Heather that I would be recommending the book to my book club. One thing lead to another and Heather agreed to join us virtually when we met up in September. Yippee!

Jasper love - bookmarks, book stickers,
cards & recommendations
So come this week, Heather and I sat down to figure out Skype. A few hiccups later and all I had to do was set out food, wine, and wait for my ladies to show up. By 8pm, we were ready to call Heather. It was time to discuss the book.

The Clay Girl opens with Ari, an 8-year-old girl, alone and on her way to an unknown aunt's house in Cape Breton. While some of the women in my book club were challenged with the early pages of the book, the story is written from Ari's perspective, and she is a confused young lady just come from a very traumatic experience. It makes sense that the tale is slightly harder to follow, as Ari herself doesn't know what to expect and what is going on. As Ari grows though, her voice and story matures. Before you know it, you are hooked.

We were lucky to have Heather share insights into the book
and her writing of it via a Skype chat
I should share that this story resonated with many of the members of my book club. We are made up of women, mothers, teachers, social workers, lawyers, and people concerned about the world—many of the very people who should have been and were there for Ari. While Ari's world is a dismal one—a drug-addicted mother, an abusive stepfather, a father who commits suicide in front of Ari's sisters, to name a few challenges—she also has a wonderful support system behind her helping her to navigate an extremely challenging childhood. In our discussion with Heather, we learned more about her take on those supportive people and how they influenced Ari's world.

Really though, this book is about resiliency. Yes, Ari has people in her world who help to catch her so she doesn't fall too far, but it is truly herself who fords her path. She leans on people around her, but the strength is all hers. I love how she might have come from a compilation of different people in Heather's life, but Ari was her own force to be reckoned with. The beautiful poster that Heather sent along with book marks and book stickers sums up Ari's inspiring outlook on life.

Dream BIG, be grateful, give, share, hope... You will find the way, if you only believe. Thank you Heather and thank you Ari. Pick up this book and be inspired.


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