Saturday, November 5, 2011

October Book Club- The Lake of Dead Languages

Hostess: Erin

Book: The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman
Food: Corn Chowder, cheese and crackers, grape leaves, hummus and pita, and hot chocolate cookies 
Wine of the Night: Kate and Cassie
Month: October

I was so excited for this book club- October is my favorite month, and Carol Goodman is one of my favorite authors.  I couldn't wait to see what my friends thought of this book.  It kind of starts out slow, but slowly builds with the mystery, intrigue and drama.

This book is history repeating itself for poor Jane, the main character.  As a kid, she made friends with Lucy and Matt, who sucked her into their world of myth, legend, and Latin.  Lucy and Jane begin Heart Lake Academy together, and continue with their Latin studies and have a near obsession with their teacher, Domina Chambers. Ancient rituals are re-enacted, truths are learned, and people die  seeming suicides by drowning.  Years later, Jane returns to Heart Lake, this time as the Latin teacher herself, and the old patterns begin again, people are dying, and pages from Jane's old diary surface as well. What really happened back then, what is the real story behind the story?  

I love this book, I love reading about old rituals and rights and pretentious boarding schools filled with intellectuals. I love all that mythology and folklore and legend.  I also realized that all the books I have chosen involved drowning - Remembering Blue, The Problem with Murmur Lee, The Lake of Dead Languages- strange! 

The characters in the book had Latin names.  When I took Latin in high school (four years!) we did not have Latin names, although that would have been cool.  Latin was one of my favorite classes in school - I took Latin and French in high school, and I did have a French name - Catherine. Anyway, I decided it would be cool to give the book club members Latin names.  So :  After discarding three names, one being Melona, the goddess of bees, for Chrissy, I decided on Persephone.  This is probably my favorite myth, and I thought it applied to Chrissy for two reasons- one, her names mean rebirth, and Persephone is a rebirth myth, and second, because when Persephone returns from the underworld, she brings with her spring, returning the world to life and warmth and new beginnings.  I know that Chrissy hates winter, and loves when winter recedes becoming the warm days of spring.  For Jennifer, who reminds me of an earth mother, I chose Vesta, the goddess of hearth and home.  For Jill, another summer lover and winter hater, I picked Aestas, the goddess of summer, and for Mary, I chose Carmenta, the goddess of childbirth and prophecy, as Mary is both pregnant and a little psychic! Kelly, lover of romance novels, I picked Aphrodite (and another name as well), and for Alyssa, my friend who is very careful and thoughtful of her words and actions, I chose Providentia, who is the goddess of forethought.  I had my husband choose my name, and he picked Luna, goddess of the moon.  It was actually harder than I thought - you can tell by looking at the types of gods and goddesses worshiped what was most important to ancient Romans- harvest, childbirth and death. 

I had a great time this book club, as always really.  I highly recommend this book to everyone, and most of her other books too. 

November book club is Jill's, and the book she has chosen is The Gargoyle.  

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