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I don’t know about you, but I thought we had one of the best of our Zoom book club meetings this month. Whether you liked The Family Upstairs the book or not, it really offered a lot to talk about. It was just mysterious enough to keep us guessing and just weird enough to give us plenty to discuss. Here’s what we thought (keep in mind that I take notes so fast that I sometimes can’t read my writing. I also leave out verbs and such – so that I don’t always know what the words refer to, even when I can decipher them). I feel the need to also point out that these were taken while drinking only ONE gin & tonic, so I can’t even blame the alcohol:

Jeff: 8. Liked Henry but not Lucy, she was weak. Liked the ambiguity around Henry, but thought the book had a weak ending. Thought the reporter character was comical. My other notes: “human sacrifice” I’m gonna let you think about that one and come to your own conclusions.

Sharon L: 11. Yes, I will allow it – for no other reason than to pay back all of you decimal point scorers. It was the best book she read so far this year. Loved seeing Henry from past to present and Libby in the present.

Kim: 6. It was just ok, hard to get into.

Amy: 9. (I’m going to just let that sit for a second.)

Amy really enjoyed it. Only took her a day and a half to read it and she read for pure enjoyment, not to try and predict what would happen. My other notes: “ew, ew, ew, ew” I can’t make these things up people, but I also can’t explain them.

Kelly: 8. Listened to the audio and really liked it, and Henry. Also thought the ending was a bit weak, wanted Henry to be a psycho killer rather than have a happy ending.

Paige: 8. Liked the suspense. Thought it resembled a Law & Order SVU episode. My other notes: “Like spider web.” Your guess is as good as mine.

Mr. Vasquez: 9. Horrible events, so much tragedy in the beginning and middle. The end was what it was. He doesn’t think Henry was as crazy as everyone makes him out to be. David Thomsen (no p, no relation to Jeff...that we know of) was a perfect villain. Birdie was creepy. The story was macabre and in an older era would have been super creepy. Editor’s Note: calling the book macabre and creepy was a positive.

Allie: 8. She had mixed feelings. It was dark and sinister (Editor’s Note: this was said as a negative). Didn’t love Henry but the author did a good job of writing the character. She admired Lucy and how she was willing to sacrifice herself to get the passports. There wasn’t enough of a showdown at the end.

Sharon K: 8. It kept her reading because she wanted to know what happened. “______ ending but happy.” (Can’t read my own writing.) Felt bad for Lucy.

Heather: 9. This book was on her TBR pile since it came out. She listened to the audio and loved it. She liked that it was told from each person’s perspective but that each person was maybe not telling the real story. (Good point, Heather.)

Mehrnaz: 9. Really liked the plot and the characters. Didn’t love Lucy.

Gail: 7. It took her awhile to get into the book. She thought Henry would murder all of them.

Christina: 9. Loved it, couldn’t put it down. Woke up early to read. Christina was unable to give more of her opinions because she left to enjoy the steaks that her husband was grilling. Apparently this is NOT a regular occurrence.

Jay: 9. Didn’t like the beginning but got sucked in eventually. Liked how the reader was mislead as to who was the bad guy. Disappointed at the ending, expected an explosion (not sure if this was figurative or literal.)

Kerry: 10. Listened to the audio, which was narrated by different people for each voice. Was sucked in too, couldn’t wait to know more about what went on in the house and where the kids went. It was such a strange premise, loved that. Not like any other book.

Lots of us were team Henry, even if he didn’t turn out to be the psycho we’d hoped for. (You can’t win ‘em all.) Someone referred to Henry as: Dexter as a boy.

We discussed reading this author again, but need to be forewarned that there was a review online that implied that this isn’t her normal genre. So we might be disappointed if we’re looking for something similar.

We disagreed as to whether or not Henry put in too much Belladonna on purpose in order to kill all the adults.

Thanks everyone! We will meet on Zoom on September 28 to discuss Camino Winds by John Grisham. This is the second in a series, so you may want to read Camino Island first, just to get familiar with the characters. It’s a light read. The Zoom info is the same for each meeting, but I will resend it the day of the meeting (and you should get it in the BookMovement reminder). It’s also below.

In October we will be choosing our next 6 books (January-June of 2021). If you have any suggestions, put them on the Book Movement site. You know the drill.

See you on the 28th,