WHITEFISH - Authors throughout history have written about post-pandemic worlds and now that we have experienced a pandemic, stories like these are bringing people together again in many ways — including traditional book clubs.
“One of the most profound things in the book, when the character talked about, we're about to experience something that we're going to characterize as what happened before, and then there's an after,” said one of the book club members during their discussion.
The Whitefish Newcomers Book Group is a subgroup of the Whitefish Newcomers social group.
The ladies that come together for this book club are from an older generation where book clubs were very popular.
“I think all of us probably grew up being a member of a book club, wherever we lived. It was just normal. I don't know, I've always been a member of a book club. So when I heard about this from a mutual friend who was in the group, it was just natural to come,” said long-time member Dorothy Donahoe.
The group started before the COVID-19 pandemic and persevered through not being able to meet for a time and coming together in small groups with masks; now they are back together like old times.
“And it means everything because I like to read, it's enriching. But to be able to come back and have an open discussion and get together has been just amazing. And we all, I think, look forward to it,” said book club member Susan Boyce.
This month's read was centered around a pandemic and the story after most of the population died. The book was published in 2014 before the current generation had experienced something like this and it brought up a discussion about how this will affect future generations.
“I read it probably in 2018, before the pandemic. As the pandemic was affecting us here, scenes from that book kept coming back. And all of us recalled it, you know, memories from our lives after 9/11, after a war, after it was even the Cuban missile crisis came up, and how that affected us,” said Donahoe.
Groups like these provide an opportunity to get out in the cold winter months and connect with people with similar interests.
It's important for our mental health to come together and have meaningful discussions.
“I think it definitely has an impact a positive impact of being able to, to share to know that other people are going through what you're going through to share ways of coping,” said Boyce.