Monday, November 15, 2010

First meeting...Pigs in Heaven

We had our first book club meeting today....about "pigs in heaven." We had an assortment of snacks (I have to mention the food of course): sweet and sour meatballs, fresh pumpkin bread, chocolate, cheese and crackers and wine which we couldn't open because I don't own one of the corky-opener things! So we drank chai tea which was really good!

Anyway, I enjoyed the book and it definitely brought of up alot of questions. Couple of fun quotes from the book:
"Sex will get you through times with no money and money will get you through times with no sex." "'s the one job where the better you are, the more surely you won't be needed in the long run."

Here is a little quote from spark notes explaining the name of the book:
"This name comes from a story about six little boys who never wanted to do any chores. Their mothers became so fed up that they boiled the balls the boys played with and served it to them to eat. The boys got angry, and ran out to the ball field, where the spirits took them up the sky, and they stayed as the six stars. The "pigs in heaven" serve as a reminder to human beings to do well by their people. They also remind parents to always forgive their children. When the six boys went to the sky, the mothers mourned their loss. The constellation therefore symbolizes all the children who have been lost."

The book is about this women who adopted a Cherokee baby who was just dropped in her car one day. The three year old girl, named Turtle, was severely abused physically and sexually. Three years later, a Cherokee lawyer starts questioning the adoption and stating that children are not allowed to be adopted outside the tribe unless given permission.  The book brought up alot of questions, mostly centered around the Native American aspect of tribes and tribal sovereignty. These tribes have been through so much destruction and had their families ripped apart through history, forcing them to become "white" "Christian" etc. In effort to preserve their culture and nations they have made legislation exactly like the one addressed in the book. The tribe has to decide whether to take the child away from it's adopted mother for the sake of the tribe.

Some of the questions discussed:
Should the good of the tribe or community come before the what is best for the child?
What is best for the little girl?
What did you think of Annawake?
How does Barbie fit in the story?
The women in the story are very independent, but too much so that they can't have a healthy relationship?

There is alot to discuss in this book and it made me upset at times because I felt defensive of the little girl. I would've done what Taylor did and ran away if felt someone threatening to take my child. This poor little girl had been through enough and she didn't need to be torn away from the only stable life she knew. But then, she does need to know where she came from and why she is different and be connected to her culture. The ideal of the Native community is so wonderful even though the reality isn't always that way. There is something very different about the Native nations because they are not immigrants, wanting to to be melded and integrated into our society. They are desperately trying to preserve their nation, culture and community in the country that was taken away from them.

So, what did you think? What were your likes and dislikes about the book? Did you agree or disagree with either side?

And....our next book (drum roll) is JANE AUSTEN'S EMMA!!! Can you tell I'm excited? We are totally going to have a themed meeting with tea, china, sandwiches and maybe even British accents!

Because of the holidays we aren't meeting again until Jan 7th. Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. Hooray! How very Julie and Julia of you, I love it. I thought we had some great discussion - I wish we had had even more time, because I feel like there was even more to dig into. Like, for example, was everyone else completely in love with Jax? Or was that just me? And was Annawake a lesbian?

    So thanks Moriah for being such a book lover - it's been super fun doing this with you!