The Whole World Over by Julia Glass

Tonight is book club, that most wonderful night of the month. This month’s book, The Whole World Over by Julia Glass, didn’t do much for me, though.

While I identified some with the main character, there’s a long list of things that girl has against her. I do have a hard time reading a book for pleasure when the most prominent character needs a swift kick in the backside. One of the lesser actors had a pretty interesting story line, though.

The ending, always a big deal for me, left you thinking, “is that all?” I really could have used a little more in tying it all together.

If you were stuck in a hotel room without any choice, yes, it’s readable. The writer offers a few pleasant passages. Otherwise I wouldn’t pick this one up. But then, that’s only my opinion. I’ll have to wait to hear what the ladies say later tonight to see if anyone else feels the same way.


  1. The Lorax says:

    I feel like you always say the same things about book club… “Great group of women, lousy book.” You ladies need to start picking better books!

  2. They do tend to be ‘great group/bad book’, but there is always something more. I enjoy the book club posts very much.

  3. The Lorax says:

    I didn’t intend to say that I didn’t like the book club posts. They are some of the most revealing about this blog’s author. Shows us your point of view (outside of politics).

  4. Well if you must know, after the discussion last night I realized I may have been a little too hard on the book. The publisher’s questions we use to jump start discussion were really good.

    For one, the author did a great job on the complexities of relationships. It had something of a Maeve Binchy round-robin approach to the way the characters were interconnected. Also unique was how the characters were filtered through the viewing lens of other characters, not just the author. Many times, you started out really liking one person only to flip when another character revealed a major flaw.

    Thank goodness she wasn’t writing about me, but then I have you all for that flaw-revelation business.

    We haven’t liked the last couple of books and brought that up last night. I think it has to do with the way we chose books this year – no one could have read any book on the list. Before we chose based on a book that at least one person had read and loved.

    It was surprising we had any discussion at all we were laughing so hard last night. There’re lots of funny stories, but it’s probably best they aren’t published.

    The hostess made an amazing carrot cake. The book’s main character had a baking business, so it was right on.

    Also, one of our members revealed last night that she’s pregnant with her second. That was fun news, too. Members span a range of about 30 years, so there’s plenty of variety.

    For the record: my favorite book club book to date was Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. Best ending ever.

    Here are some from last year’s list –

    November: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    January: The Summer Guest by Justin Cronin
    February: Truck: A Love Story by Michael Perry
    March: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
    April: The Genesis Code by Christopher Forrest
    May: The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama
    June: The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

    Truck was the only one that was a little funky there. The Space Between Us was really good. So was The Thirteenth Tale, The Summer Guest, and of course, Gatsby.

    Here’s other stuff we’ve read:

    Year of Wonders
    The Mermaids Singing
    The Memory Keepers Daughter
    The Lovely Bones
    A Prayer for Owen Meany
    What We Keep
    The Kiterunner
    The Secret Life of Bees