Update, 2 p.m. July 5
In our third meeting of Moira’s Book Club earlier today, we discussed the novel “Washington Black,” written by Victoria, B.C. author Esi Edugyan. — the adventurous, imaginative tale of a young man who escapes a life of slavery on an 1830s Barbados plantation and travels the world. You can read the discussion in the comments thread below (scroll to the bottom of story and click on “View Comments”); here are a few excerpts :
The book was compelling from start to finish–I spent several sunny days inside because I couldn’t put it down. I also had the experience of re-reading pages, not because I didn’t follow or couldn’t remember, but because they were so well written. — user1034108
I had trouble blending the magical realism with the realistic elements of history and science. But I also couldn’t stop reading, and eventually got used to the mixture. — user1013636
Very fantastical. The book reminded me of ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ Wash was blown off course in a hot air balloon and then spent most of the book looking for home and family, a sense of belonging. — user1078226
The amount of research the author must have done is staggering. I admit I wouldn’t know if the sensory experiences she describes are accurate (or the engineering either for that matter), but it was all SO BELIEVABLE that does it really matter? It is fiction. Still, I bet she did her due diligence and more. Just marvelous. — Pat Power
Wash’s emotional journey mirrors what we all do throughout our lives. First we idolize our parents, then we separate from them because we feel so different from them, and then later as we mature, we come to understand them better and why they are the way they are. –-TeaDrinker
Different aspects of this book remind me of others I have read—using sea creatures as part of the backstory is like Tracy Chevalier’s ‘Remarkable Creatures.’ Edugyan has an eye for the rare and unusual with arresting descriptions. — verdad
Many thanks to all who participated in the chat! Stay tuned for our next selection: I’ll be announcing a poll to pick our next book on July 9, with our next book club meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 21. Please join us!
Bookmark this page: This is where Moira’s Seattle Times Book Club will be having its discussion, starting at noon on Tuesday, July 2, of “Washington Black” by Esi Edugyan.
We’ll be chatting in the comments below; feel free to leave a question or a thought about the book before the discussion begins. I’ll arrive online promptly at noon Tuesday to facilitate the discussion. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the book. (For those who haven’t yet finished the book: You’re welcome to join us but please be aware that we’ll be discussing what we thought of the entire book, up to and including the ending.)
In the meantime, please feel free to join your fellow book lovers for spoiler-free book chat — about both “Washington Black” and books in general — at Moira’s Book Club group on Facebook. If you’d like to join, here’s the link: facebook.com/groups/stbooks/
Reminder to all who plan to join the discussion: This page, and the Facebook group, are spoiler-free zones until noon on Tuesday, at which time those who haven’t finished the book will need to be aware that some of us may want to discuss the ending and other potentially revealing content. Also, a reminder that the discussion will be moderated, and off-topic comments (that is, comments that aren’t about the book) may be deleted. Any questions? Shoot them to me here or at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I look forward to chatting on Tuesday!