Looking for a book club? The Penticton Public Library hosts monthly meetings, with the next taking place on Oct. 26 from 1 – 2:30 p.m. The theme for this year’s club is Around the World and Beyond. Despite the name, the club will be discussing Ru by Canadian author Kim Thuy, and hosting a reading by a local author at their October meeting.
Florence Barton, retired Penticton veterinarian and flight school instructor, will be reading from her latest book, Living with Death, sold under the pen name Carolyn Dale. Penticton readers may also recognize Florence as Anne Barton, the pseudonym she uses when writing her popular Robin Carruthers mystery series.
Although it doesn’t feature Robin Carruthers, Living with Death is a mystery novel. On a cold, rainy November evening, Dawn Packard is found dead at a bus stop. Detectives piece together evidence at the crime scene, and wonder what could have induced someone to kill this young woman in such a brutal and heartless manner.
The mystery surrounding the murderer’s identity serves as a backdrop for the book’s central theme: euthanasia. In fact, Dawn may have been murdered by someone who took her brother off life support after he was in a devastating motorcycle accident. Dawn had threatened to sue those she felt wrongly left her brother to die.
Throughout Living with Death, the characters – from parents to doctors — hold varying but mostly black and white positions on the morality and legality of euthanasia. Brian’s mother is unrelentingly cold and approves of letting Brian die. Chillingly, one of Brian’s doctors is heavy-handed in his active pursuit of Brian’s organs for donation.
Barton enjoys using the characters’ dialogue to advance the discussion. In fact, when the police detectives conduct their interviews for the murder investigation, many of those questioned are more interested in debating euthanasia than about discovering the identity of the murderer. Whatever your take on euthanasia, Living with Death should prove to be the start of a good book club discussion.
For more information about Barton’s reading or the library’s book club, contact Karen Kellerman at 250-770-7781. Upcoming books for discussion include: White Russian by Vanora Bennett, Dovekeeper by Alice Hoffman, Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, White Princess by Phillipa Gregory, Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson, and The Spark by Kristine Barrett. ==30==