“On the same page” is a series featuring Utah book clubs and runs every other week. Editor's note: If you have a book club and you are interested in being featured, please contact us at email@example.com. Please include your name, your contact information and one or two sentences describing your book club.
SALT LAKE CITY — For the past 23 years, the ladies of a Salt Lake City-based book club have been readers and friends, but above all, they have ultimately formed a bond as sisters.
“We’re all different, and yet we’re all so much the same,” said Mary Duke, a Salt Lake resident and book club member. “One of them is weak, another one of us is strong … and our talents are different and we share them with each other. But when we put all of our strengths and our weaknesses and our talents together, we fill in one another’s holes and we become truly beautiful.”
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Deseret News: What is your favorite thing about your book club?
Mary Duke: (In) December, we don’t do a book. (At) our very first Christmas together, we decided that we wanted to just get together at somebody’s home and have a dinner, but not read a book because Decembers are so busy. … Everybody came over for dinner and then I read a favorite Christmas story to them. And ever since then, in our tradition, every Christmas, everyone (shares) a favorite Christmas story, and it’s one of the most beautiful nights of the year for all of us, because we just share these sweet, sweet stories. It used to just be Christmas stories, now it’s just (a) favorite little short story, and we just go around in a circle and everybody shares a story, or a thought or a poem, and usually a little gift or something that goes with it. It’s just a really sweet evening; one that we love. It’s our favorite night of the year.
DN: What has been a significant memory within your book club?
MD: My very dearest friend just passed away, but she had a very debilitating disease … and it just destroyed her. She was pretty bad the last five years of her life. And it’s a very quick disease, so it just took its toll on her really fast. But it was just really sweet, because there were so many gals in our book club who would take a three-hour slot of time on a particular day and just go spend time with (her) and help her with whatever she needed so that her husband could continue to work. … (She was) such a vibrant person before she got this disease, and to see her just shrink into nothing where she couldn’t speak at the end, it was a really hard thing. But everybody pitched in with such love and helped take care of her.
Members of the Book Club group recommend, via their Facebook group:Comment on this story
"TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD," by Harper Lee, Grand Central Publishing, 384 pages (f)
"LADDER OF YEARS," by Anne Tyler, Vintage, 336 pages (f)
"SECRET LIFE OF BEES," by Sue Monk Kidd, Penguin Books, 336 pages (f)
"THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO," by Alexandre Dumas, Wordsworth Editions, 928 pages (f)
"THE INVENTION OF WINGS," by Sue Monk Kidd, Penguin Books, 384 pages (f)
"BLINK: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking," by Malcolm Gladwell, Back Bay Books, 296 pages (nf)