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Twist of fate novel next selection for All Island Book Club

By Staff | Feb 12, 2019

With its first session of the season under its belt, the All Island Book Club is on to its next pick.

Founded and organized by the Captiva Civic Association, the club is free and open to all – island residents, renters and visitors of all ages. For its January meeting, participants talked about “The Water Is Wide,” by Pat Conroy. The second will be held on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Captiva Civic Center.

Picked at the last session, the book of choice is Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America.”

Published in 2004, the novel imagines an alternate version of American history in which Charles Lindbergh is elected president over Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. A heroic aviator and rabid isolationist, Lindbergh negotiates a cordial “understanding” with Adolf Hitler, while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism. For one boy in Newark, Lindbergh’s election is the first in a series of ruptures threatening to destroy his small safe corner of America.

“I’ve read the book before, and I was so excited everyone else was excited to read it,” CCA Vice President Merni Libonate said, noting that it is based on a true event, but that the public turned against Lindbergh in history. “But he (the author) supposes that everyone gets on board with Lindbergh.”

“It is America if this had happened,” she added. “And it is told through the eyes of a young boy.”

Libonate described the book as a fascinating and riveting good read.

“I think it’s going to be a great discussion piece,” she said.

Each meeting lasts for about an hour, with the attendees deciding the next pick at the end.

Libonate explained that everyone gets a chance to pitch their suggested selections.

“People bring their book, they’ve got their notes,” she said. “They’re really into it.”

Libonate noted that the group may have even narrowed in on the next book.

“We had so many great suggestions,” she said of the first meeting.

Approximately 15 to 20 people attended the session.

“As the season starts, our numbers grow by a few every time,” Libonate said.

During the review of “The Water Is Wide,” the discussion touched on the island connection, but also segued into participants sharing stories and talking about deprived educational and school systems.

“We not only cover the subject of the book, we really cover a lot of bases,” she said. “We learn a little more about each other every time – it’s so much more than a book club.”

One man attended after seeing a poster about the meeting.

Libonate explained that he was visiting the island for a few weeks and his mother had passed away. In possession of his mother’s Kindle, which had numerous books on it, he decided he was going to read them all. The man shared that about seven of the books he found on the device were written by Conroy.

“So he came and he was terrific,” she said. “It was just so lovely and such a community thing.”

Libonate encouraged people to come and take part.

“It makes you pick up a book you may never have picked up,” she said, noting that Roth’s novel revolves around that twist of fate. “It’s that absolutely irresistible ‘what if’ that makes it so appealing.”

“And it’s just a wonderful way to get to know other members of the community and their interests and their backgrounds,” Libonate added. “It’s a real look – a perspective you may not have otherwise.”

The next session will be held on March 12.

For more information, call 239-472-2111 or visit www.ccacaptiva.org.

The Captiva Civic Center is at 11550 Chapin Lane.