It was a smaller than usual book club this month, due to work commitments and holidays but nevertheless we enjoyed a good discussion about The Painter of Shanghai.
It was the first time that we had chosen a fiction book to read but the story is based on a real-life artist and, as it is set between China and France, there was still plenty of material to allow us to talk about our favourite thing – travel!
Next month we’re discussing The Painter of Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein on June 5 at 9pm GMT. We’d love you to join! #travelbookclub
@grownupgapyear Hi Emily–thrilled to hear you are reading Painter! Let me know if you’d like me to answer any questions for your group 🙂
A1 I loved the contrasts between old and new China because I felt that even on my visit last year #travelbookclub
A1: I thought the book showed a darker side of China that I hadn’t experienced or known about #travelbookclub
Question 2 had us all day-dreaming about future trips:
A2 I really want to visit Shanghai, the book sealed the deal! #travelbookclub
A2: I never made it to Nanjing and now am very keen to go #travelbookclub
Question 3 revealed a number of interesting things the book had taught us:
A3 I had read about foot binding before but found it so interesting. Also the fact that her husband ‘unbound’ her feet #travelbookclub
A3 I was surprised that students were sent west at that time, fascinating #travelbookclub
The ‘real-life’ element of the book was the subject of question 4:
A4: I viewed some online, surprised at the execution/rawness of the paintings. #travelbookclub Not my line of expertise. . .
A4 I didn’t even know the story was real til I read the epilogue! Blew me away, I’m not kidding! I can’t believe they exist! #travelbookclub
A4: I’d love to see the paintings and also her grave in Paris #travelbookclub
And the final question of the evening was:
A5 I’m not sure. Apparently the paintings are one display in China now so that signifies a change in attitude #travelbookclub
A5: I think her being a woman painting nudes helped and hurt her in society. Today not as controversial/interesting. #travelbookclub
We really enjoyed discussing The Painter of Shanghai and received another message from Jennifer the next day:
#travelbookclub Just a note of thanks for discussing my book! I was busy last night but just ran through all your thoughtful comments
Next month we’re reading an African adventure, Red Tape and White Knuckles by Lois Pryce, which was chosen by @JessicaRose_91. We’ll be talking about it on July 3 at 9pm GMT. We’d love you to join us!