“The Moon and Sixpense” by W. Somerset Maugham

By Shelly Kilroy, Librarian

One great thing about a book discussion group is that all the different viewpoints about the book can really open up your eyes.  And not only that, it makes for some really great discussion.  My first impression of W. Somerset Maugham’s The Moon and Sixpence was that it was just okay, I expected more from such a well-known author.  But in our discussion on April 5th I realized that maybe there was a lot more to this book than meets the eye.

Image courtesy Penguin Publishing

On the surface The Moon and Sixpence is about the fictional artist Charles Strickland who leaves his comfortable home and family life to pursue his overwhelming need to paint.  But if you look below the surface you come to realize that the main character in the book may not be Charles Strickland after all, but instead art itself and the almost blinding drive experienced by some people to make art.  And that is something I may not have pondered if it weren’t for those other wonderful ways of seeing in our group.

Next month our book turns to the natural side of things and we will be discussing A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There by Aldo Leopold.  After this book we will take a break for the summer and gather together for more reading adventures in September.  Look for the list of books we will be reading in my next entry after our May meeting.

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