Ladies Who Brunch Double Feature: Summer Beach Reads

beach reads

From left to right: Elisa Koopmans, Rachel Slaiman, Esther Krivda, Alicia Wesolowska, new members Karen Mitchell and Eileen Donovan, and moderator Jill Wisoff

During the summer, people tend to have more free time. People recharge their careers, take on new challenges, and tend to read more. This August, the Ladies Who Brunch decided on two suspenseful beach reads: 300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson and Into the Water by Paula Hawkins.

beach reads

Elisa Koopmans and Jill Wisoff

Elisa Koopmans commented, “Reading two books to compare and contrast was fascinating. The group had an interesting mix of viewpoints, insights and desires regarding literature. Such an enjoyable group of women readers!”

Two major themes came from each book: gothicism and rehashing the past. Gothicism deals with weird dreams; gloomy and unpleasant thoughts while rehashing the past reflect gothicism two-fold. In the real world, the past can help us to not make the same mistake twice, to remember good times, and to learn from bad ones. In the literary world, authors can create a past that becomes part of the story then use the past to continue the story until the very end.

beach reads

Newcomer Eileen Donovan

Both of these themes use the element of suspense. Suspense keeps the reader on their toes by seeming to write toward a conclusion to the story and then redirecting the plot to another part. Attendees were curious about the style of suspense these two authors directed compared to how other authors create suspense. In this case, Agatha Christie and J.D. Robb (In Death series), better known as Nora Roberts, come to mind as authors who build suspense differently.

Attendee Esther Krivda observed, “What a bright, insightful group.” Ala Wesolowska coupled Krivda’s comment when she stated, “Excellent analysis led by Jill and the others.”

The next book the group will discuss is The Honeymoon by Dinitia Smith on October 14th. Moving away from the beach reads, The Honeymoon is a biographical novel about Mary Ann Evans, more commonly known by her pseudonym George Eliot. In the last meeting, the Ladies Who Brunch discussed Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book Americanah.


Rachel SlaimanRachel Slaiman is a published freelance writer of several articles in both print and online as well an editor and copy editor of aspiring author’s manuscripts.  She is currently the co-recording secretary for the WNBA and co-chair for the Brooklyn Book Festival.  Rachel holds a B.A. in Communications and a M.S. from Pace University.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading and writing short stories.

About Blog Editor

The Women’s National Book Association was founded in 1917 by female booksellers who weren’t allowed in the men’s organizations. Nearly 100 years later, the WNBA is still supporting women in the book industry through literary events, networking, literacy projects, workshops, open mic nights, book clubs, and many other entertaining programs throughout the season!

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