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May 14, 2010


Posted by Dana

Today's guest blogger Heather Johnson shares her book clubs' take on THREE CUPS OF TEA and the tea related outing that went with it.  Who says you can't combine a serious book with a fun outing?

threecups.jpgMy book club did something a bit different this month; instead of meeting at one of our homes or churches we splurged on high tea at a colonial tavern in a nearby city.  Seven of us attended the meeting and it was such a treat!  Our mini cakes and scones were served on tiered platters, and each of us had her own personal pot of tea.  The food was delicious, but since all of us there were moms, do you know what we enjoyed the most?  Having someone else wait on us and clean up after us!

But, you ask, what book did we read and discuss this month?  Our book was THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortensen - the perfect title for high tea.  In this book Mortensen details his failed attempt to climb a mountain and how that led him to spend time in an isolated Pakistani village.  To show his appreciation to the villagers, after his return to the US Mortensen raised money and returned to Pakistan to build a school there.  Over time, his passion and drive snowballed into a non-profit organization that has built a huge number of schools in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Over tea we discussed Mortensen’s years of effort and agreed that what he accomplished was truly amazing.  Our favorite parts of the book were about former students of the schools and the huge benefits that education brought them.

We talked about the type of loyalty and commitment it takes to work at a project like this for so many years and the effect it has on the people around you.  As wives ourselves, we wondered about Mortensen’s wife and how she deals with his extended absences.  As parents, we considered whether we could leave our children for so long at a time, or if we would be willing to take them to parts of the world that are considered dangerous.

We also discussed the writing style in this book and agreed that it didn’t do justice to the story.  Several of us thought that it dragged in parts, but we all (eventually) finished the book because we were truly interested in what Mortensen had accomplished.

Next month we’re celebrating the approaching summer by reading a short and fun book: THE NO. 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY, by Alexander McCall Smith.

--Heather Johnson, Regular Contributor

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