The Bluestockings are a group of friends in Menomonie, Wisconsin who meet to discuss selected books and recently read Time Stamp.
Since Susan and Katherine found the book a bit difficult, Marcia suggested jotting down a timeline, which was helpful to everyone. In discussion, Susan and Katherine recognized they understood the book better than they had realized.
Diane, who has been a social worker, thought perhaps Reeve had been abused as a child; the others did not think so.
All the Bluestockings were greatly struck by Reeve’s reaction to the politician that resulted in the horse’s death. They also all felt Reeve was intelligent, talented, and, because of the times and traditions, very limited and frustrated since she could not fully realize herself. As they saw her, she was overwhelmed by Will and devastated by her son’s death. In general, they felt communication was a relationship problem for all the characters on numerous levels and for a variety of reasons. Maddie, the daughter, is deeply affected by the family life but ultimately is able to communicate better with Guy, her second life partner. Her career as a photographer takes her to many third-world places and several children impact her life, but she chooses to remain childless. The Bluestockings were all most interested in her obsessive search for a young girl she met on a photo shoot.
Several other things had particular resonance for the group. They were intrigued by things Maddie learned about her mother as she cleaned out the house–total surprises—and thought the descriptions of cities and third-world countries were excellent. Marcia found the book’s ending so moving she experienced both chills and tears.
In reviewing the club’s discussion, the group was again struck by how much more deeply they understood it in discussion than when they were reading it. Marcia remarked on the quality of the writing, which she felt was on a level with Virginia Woolf’s.
Comment from Emily
Reading your responses made me admire all of you as readers. Your experience seems like the ideal for a book club: readers who found the book challenging still engaged with it, and the discussion brought everyone to a greater understanding of the story. As a writer, I couldn’t wish for more.