American Houswife by Helen Ellis – Feb 2017

We all meandered into the depths of Mountain Brook to the lovely home of Elizabeth K.  A mardi gras theme was to be had being that we are so close to Fat Tuesday! However the ladies of Highland Crescent S were BARE of such mardi gras ornaments due to… various excuses given (I REALLY couldn’t find my beads Elizabeth — truly — they are somewhere in a closet — darn it).   The house was aglow with merriment and mardi gras as we settled in for our February meeting.  We sipped Hurricane cocktails (good LORD those were tasty- may I have another?)  The King Cake lay before us on the table and I had to restrain myself from digging around to find the baby.

Our delightfully dark but humorous book this month is American Housewife by Helen Ellis.  Don’t you just love the cover?  I could so rock that orange terry cloth ensemble on the cover.  Well not really but I could see many of you in it!  Cute as a button I tell you!  For author bio click <<HERE>>

I couldn’t find book club discussion questions on this book (sorry girls!).  However we had plenty to go on in discussing the book.   Helen Ellis is described as a Southern Gothic author.  Being that she’s from Tuscaloosa, Alabama (definitely Southern — HELLO) partnered with the dark bent in many of the short stories – I’m going to say Southern Gothic describes her well.   A wikipedia definition is as follows:

Southern Gothic is a subgenre of Gothic fiction in American literature that takes place in the American South.Common themes in Southern Gothic literature include deeply flawed, disturbing or eccentric characters who may or may not dabble in hoodoo,[1] ambivalent gender roles, decayed or derelict settings,[2] grotesque situations, and other sinister events relating to or stemming from poverty, alienation, crime, or violence.

After you read the book I’m pretty sure you’ll completely agree with that description.  :::shaking head yes::::::

We all pretty much agreed across the board there were stories we liked and those we didn’t click with.  Some made me completely laugh out loud – some left me with a puzzled look or a grimace – and maybe another giggle thrown in for good measure.  It’s quirky and bizarre.

A HUGE thank you once again Elizabeth for hosting February! See you in March girls!  What an entertaining evening – indeed.

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