HHH Book Club!
If you are familiar with Bowie or Crofton, Maryland, you know the alphabet sections our streets. I happen to live in the "H" section, where the streets and cul-de-sacs all start with the letter "H." People from Bowie who travel all over the state, country, and world can say to someone who knows Bowie that they grew up in the "K" section and everyone knows where that is. It's an easy way to keep things tidy in the neighborhoods.
About 10 years ago, the H Section started a lady's book club. We host a book club every other month or so with a Christmas Cookie exchange in December. It works for us. We also have others from other sections of Crofton too! The lovely women who come to discuss a book selected for a certain month can come whether or not they read the book. All are welcome.
Tonight, I had the honor of hosting 10 fabulous women who love to read. Our book selection was: The Last Castle (The Biltmore Mansion in Ashville, NC) by Denise Kiernan. The gift over this Easter weekend was that I read the tome in two days (over 300 pages!). It was great and kept my interest throughout all the pages.
We had a lively discussion about the Vanderbilts, specifically George Washington Vanderbilt and his wife Edith, and how they navigated extreme wealth and their travel to Europe—often. But even so, they were kind-hearted not only to a revolving door of guests to the Biltmore but to their southern community at large who worked at the 175,000 sq. ft. castle. It is still considered the largest home ever built in America.
The book was a sweeping saga of family dynamics, the splendid brilliance of several men who were in charge of building the monstrosity, and how GWV kept the balls in the air while hundreds of people worked on his vision of home. Not an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination.
It was a great night!
Photo credit: Bill Tomoff - I'll start with me holding the book - going left: Carolyn C, Susan H., Jess C., Mary M., Mary Kay Carlo, Karin H., Lisa N., Bobbi Bieler, and Jill S.