I think for your first ever book club, it’s a great idea to choose a crime thriller. Do you know why? The suspense, the suspense will drive even the most unwilling of readers (for the most part) and well, everyone likes to try and solve a good mystery.
I haven’t posted on my blog in a really long time. It’s not that I haven’t read any good books lately, it’s just that I guess I’ve been feeling a little lost and uninspired. I like reading because I can escape a little from what’s going on, it’s nice to go somewhere else for a few hours. I haven’t felt like writing much either so I may be a little rusty.
At my new job (I say new because it’s new since I did my last post which was 2 years ago) I’m really lucky to have made a group of friends that I know will be for life and it was in this group of friends that it was decided that we’d start a book club named SD Bookworms (SD is the abbreviation of our work place). I decided that I would use this book club to start to feel inspired again and to start feeling like my ambitious and creative self of 2 years ago.
It was my turn to choose first and it’s actually quite difficult to choose something to kick the whole thing off. I did wonder whether The Cradle Will Fall by Mary Higgins Clark was a bit of a weird one. The subject matter is a bit unethical but it is an easy read once you get into it. I borrowed this book about six years ago from my friend when we were on holiday in Portugal and from the first extremely short chapter, I was hooked!
A minor road accident landed county prosecutor Katie DeMaio in Westlake Hospital. After taking some sleeping pills, Katie wanders to the window of her hospital room where she imagines that she sees someone putting a woman’s body into the boot of a car. The next day, Katie begins to investigate the suicide of Vangie Lewis, the pregnant wife of a pilot. Straight away, things don’t seem to add up and the unlikely idea of Vangie committing suicide slowly turns the idea of murder, with the finger pointed at her cheating husband Chris Lewis. However, medical examiner Richard Carroll has other ideas and begins to suspect Vangie’s obstetrician at Westlake, Dr. Edgar Highley. Dr Highley has been curing infertile women for years and is somewhat of a miracle worker in the medical society. As the walls start closing in on him and his practice at Westlake, Dr Highley will stop at nothing to keep his medical genius a secret for now…
The title The Cradle Will Fall is obviously based on the nursery rhyme ‘Rock-a-bye Baby’
Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.
Unfortunately for Dr Highley, there’s only a matter of time before the cradle will fall.
It was an interesting book to discuss and to start with in a book club. With short chapters and interchangeable characters in each chapter, it meant the book was fast paced and meant that you were more likely to want to read on and see what happened next.
SD BOOKWORMS DISCUSSION
From discussing it with the girls, it helped knowing the killer from the beginning and Dr Highley makes a convincing murderer. He was in fact my favourite character, although others disagreed. I found it funny that he liked to indulge in a good meal after he’s murdered someone and that his final thought before taking his own life was that he didn’t get to have his fondue.
“A burning smell was permeating the room. Regretfully he realized it was the fondue.”
We discussed many themes in the book like things that made us uncomfortable such as Katie’s haemorrhaging and of course Dr Highley’s experimental insemination. Dr Highley would take foetus’ from women and place the aborted foetus inside a woman who was known to be infertile. The women would not know that the child growing inside them was not their own flesh and blood and most of the women died as the child wasn’t compatible with their bodies.
We also made a fantasy draft of actors and actresses who would be in the movie of it if it was ever made in Hollywood (there is a movie version out there somewhere…)
Natalie Portman – Katie
Molly – Drew Barrymore
Edna – Kathy Bates
Dr HIghley -Jude Law
Richard – Idris Elba
Vangie – Scarlett Johansson
Chris – Bradley Cooper
Dr Salem – Bill Murray
John – Eric Bana
…I think we did quite well
One of the questions I asked was ‘If you could insert yourself as a character in the book, what role would you play?’ One of the best answers for me was from Alex (an SD bookworm :D) who said that she would create a character that would be in Vangie’s life as a friend, someone who could support her. I think that is such a charming answer. Vangie was the victim and she was already a ticking time bomb, waddling through her life with an incompatible foetus. For the final months of her life she gained weight to the point she could only fit into caftans, lost her beauty and developed ‘cankles’ to which she squeezed shabby moccasins into on a daily basis. I guess it would have been nice for her to have a friend to turn to, someone who could have made her get a second opinion about her deteriorating pregnancy sooner.
To be honest, I could go on talking about this book for much longer. The plot is interesting and twisted that I could write pages and pages on it. We all would definitely recommend it. There’s a reason why Mary Higgins Clark is known as the queen of suspense which made this the perfect first book to our book club.