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The Awakening

Our Book Club Novel Gathering Idea

 

First, the invitation.  Every Tuesday Edna received a steady stream of visitors to her home.  In keeping with this, we suggest you send small calling card invites out to your guests.  Simply have your name at the top and a quick note requesting their attendance on your reception day.

If your guests are close by, consider having someone deliver them for you on a silver tray, wearing white gloves of course.

Creating the Setting

There are a few ways to set up this gathering.  The first idea is to set up your best chairs around your piano. How Mademoiselle Reisz would be pleased.  Just do not allow the Faraval twins to bang on the keys.

Next, you could set up your home like a beach house to commemorate their time on Grand Isle.

Finally, you could invite your guest, as the invitation above suggests, to your parlour for an afternoon of visiting. We will incorporate all the ideas in our setting ideas listed below.

- green and yellow parrots (believe it or not I have a wooden one somewhere in my basement - don't ask)
- fill mason jars with roses on your fireplace and around your discussion room
- have an open wooden box with cigars in it (you could just copy a picture of cigars and place in a box)
- purchase some inexpensive paper fans or actually palm leaves so yours guests can fan themselves
- art materials, sketching pad, easel, paints, brushes and then beside it a sewing kit with thread, material, scissors
- a beach area with straw hats, folded and unfolded towels, bathing suits, swim caps, beach blankets
-  do you have a hammock handy?  This party could get interesting.
- play the music of Chopin in the background with sheet music scattered around (download off internet if needed)
- have a small table elegantly set for one person with a candelabra to show Edna's solitude
- have works by Emerson with a shawl set on a chair by your fireplace
- download some horse racing wager sheets
- buy some silk red and yellow roses and allow your guests to make garlands and wear them during the discussion (they may ask for more champagne)
- by the front door, have a small light burning lightly on a table stacked with books and fresh flowers (when Edna returns to the Pegeon house after her dinner party)
-  have some Mexican pesos or artifacts, travel books to Mexico, maps
- a silver tray near the entrance with opened letters from Robert, create your own Mexican stamp
- have small bags filled with bon bons and peanuts for your guests to take home OR pack champagne and grapes as Edna did for Madame Ratignolle when she could not attend Edna's last hosted party.


  

Food 

chocolate
Gold and Silver cakes on platters served with ice cream
Bon bons and peanuts
Broiled Chicken or Bread Roasted chicken
Soup
Fish Stew or scorched fish
Tenderloin prepared medium, glazed chestnuts
Gruyere cheese and crackers (serve with beer)
Pompono - fish...Edna loved her fish
Grapes

Cocktail or Drinks

There was no shortage of drinks in this classic.  If serving coffee, always add a nice biscuit.  Have the champagne flowing, consider a champagne fountain, and then invite me.  If hosting in the cooler months, serve hot chocolate and brandy.

The night of Edna's last dinner party she speaks of a cocktail 'composed' by her father in honor of her sister Janet's wedding.  It is served in a tiny glass 'that looked and sparkled like a garnet gem'.  You could simply have shot glasses filled with red wine or you could try this cocktail,

My Pink Lady (you could jokingly call it My 'Blue' Lady or Loner Lady)

1/2 oz Vodka
1/4 oz Malibu Rum
1/4 oz Midori 
1 0r 2 dashes of Grenadine
Part Lemonade

Filled a chilled tulip glass with ice and top 3/4 full with lemondade.  Shake together vodka, rum, midori and grenadine and strain into the glass so it floats on top of the lemonade.  Garnish with a rose. 

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