In my last post I defined a Satsang, and how a book group can be considered one if the members gather together to 'inspire one another and tell the truth."
One of my book groups met last night to discuss Mary Lawson's The Other Side of the Bridge. We started the discussion by going around the circle and assigning the book a score out of ten. I think I gave in an 8.5 as I'd really enjoyed it.
About an hour later, following a lively discussion, we again went around the circle, and gave the book a new score out of 10. My score went up to 9.5, and I was tempted to give it a 10. Many of the other member's scores went up as well.
This is the beauty of the book group. No matter how much we enjoy reading, it's only through discussion that we can fully appreciate a book. Other readers bring their insights to the story, allowing us to see it from different points of view. In the case of The Other Side of the Bridge, the more we discussed the various themes, the tangled relationships, character motivation etc., the more I marvelled at the complexity of the story, and how beautifully it was told.
Towards the end of the meeting, one of the members asked if I thought the author would have had the entire story mapped out before she began writing it, or if she 'made it up as she went along'. I can only guess, but I suspect she would have the basic story line (or skeleton) in place before she began writing, but added the 'flesh' during the writing process as she grew to know the characters better. She certainly created a story that engaged us in a thoughtful discussion, one that 'inspired' me to think deeper, and to find the 'truth' in the story.
The Book Group is definitely a Satsang.