My book club recently read The Borgia Bride, by Jeanne Kalogridis. Set in 16th century Italy, it was a work of historical fiction, a chronicle of the Borgia family’s machinations and manipulations to unite the independent Italian city-states. The book was well-researched and competently written, more coherent than Philippa Gregory’s books. The novel bristled with rape, incest, murder, and intrigue of Machiavellian proportions. [pun intended]
What made the night a hit was the wisecracking, racy banter that flew around the table. Why? Because the book was suggested by the most prim and proper member of our book club, Kay. She’s a tiny thing and a devout Catholic. She suggested this book upon her sister’s recommendation. Kay had absolutely no idea how licentious this book was. From the minute Kay sat down at the table last night, she was apologizing for her choice. She nearly squeaked in mortification that she had asked us to read such a scandalous book. We were cracking jokes and gently ribbing her all night. The whole restaurant could hear us cackling in the private room. With our largest and liveliest turnout ever, we ate, drank, and talked – about the book and everything else – until 10:15 p.m.
As the group broke up last night, another member joked that we should call ourselves the “Borgia Book Club”. Brilliant! We didn’t really have a name before then, and now we do. The next meeting of the Borgia Book Club will take place in early December. I’ve reserved the private room at the same restaurant. Buona fortuna!