It can be hard living up to the launch of any new venture, but in true CBR Gals style, our second book club meet-up on Thursday, 27 May, was buoyed by just as much fun and juicy enthusiasm.
And with clinking glasses and undulating laughter, we immediately gravitated toward our delightfully new set-up ー because when we ask for feedback, we act on it.
Taking our seats around a few bistro-style tables, we felt instantly relaxed and ready to dig deep into Nigerian-American author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s DEAR IJEAWELE, Or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions.
For such a small book, it packs a pitch-perfect punch.
The general consensus was that we could easily have read it within an hour, but opted, instead, to take it slow and savour each suggestion ー resting between bites. And with that, truly topping up our soul-banks.
These suggestions are simple truths, some of which are dressed in layers of unconscious conditioning.
Wise and sincere, they ricocheted between the hummus and brie, before settling onto our collective faces, in equal parts aha-and-aargh!
They commanded our attention in the most attractive way, sitting on our tongues and getting caught in our throats ー because they are also such refreshing reminders.
These suggestions are not intrinsically new or revolutionary. It is, however, the way that Adichie offers them that is so captivating. We double-take on some with which we are already familiar ー and long-pause on others because both are now being seen in a new and simply revelatory light!
It’s what makes us want to guzzle, not sip.
And then reflect.
And then want to rush out and give it to every girl, boy, woman and man whom we know, because it is a gift ー an unembellished guide that is so welcome.
It’s akin to a perfectly knitted jumper of which we each take a thread and tug, then pull ー out of curiosity, out of necessity.
It is conversation calisthenics at its best, and this is what I love about Gals, Becoming, a book club that holds a safe space for us to do this ー to explore the shallows as well as the greater depths.
Once a month, we bring book-loving gals together, for conversation that’s allowed to morph into discussion and debate.
Once a month, we choose to come together to have fun, while we navigate the ins and outs of a new book.
Once a month, we get to know each other a little more!