|| Book Club || The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

This month my book club (in Sydney – not to be confused with Jessie’s in NYC which you will hear about soon) picked The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood for our reading pleasure  As usual, here is some info and things to think about to make you look like some kind of genius at your next club night. Also **SPOLER ALERT** - read the book first people!

About the Author

Originally from Cooma, New South Wales Charlotte Wood is the author of (among other things) five novels.  Her books have been frequently short listed for prizes, with The Natural Way Of Things winning the Indi Book Award for 2016. With a journalism background and having taught writing, she is currently in her last year of a three year appointment as Chair of Arts Practice, Literature, at the Australia Council for the Arts.

Questions to consider

  • What were some of the things Wood asks, tells or gets you thinking about in terms of gender?
  • The reader is set up to want to know why these women are there, what will happen to them and who is behind it all –  were you satisfied by what you learnt?
  • How did you feel about the moment the girls are presented with the fancy bags of stuff? Was their reaction believable/justifiable?
  • What do you make of Verla's decision to stay? Did you agree? Was it brave, was it smart, was it a cop out? How was it different to Yolanda's decision to stay?
  • Yolanda, initially the most conventionally desirable,  undergoes a radical transformation.  Discuss.
  • Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass gets a pretty good look in, including this doozy “I do not ask who you are, that is not important to me, You can do nothing and be nothing but what I will infold you.” – what do you make of it? (Here are the Cliffs Notes for those playing at home but too lazy to read the actual poem.)
  • What is the deal with that white horse?
  • And what is the deal with Ransom?