The Book Club Chronicles - Part Five - Hamlet
Joan H. Parks
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It is early fall when the ladies reconvened their book club. At Katherines suggestion they continued with Shakespeare and studied Hamlet using the text and the version filmed with Sir Patrick Stewart as Claudius as their base. Surprised at their reaction to the characters in Act 1, they quickly realized that seen through the filter of their age and gender that they were the ones most able to mount a defense of Gertrude. They added the Sir Kenneth Branagh version of Hamlet as contrast. Their study of the play is reflected in the talks with the males in their lives: Claire is newly married and her Henry isdetermined to hold on to his corner office; Annies husband, Bill, is facing theend of his career which will effect her in unpredictable ways; Franny, slowly recovering with the help of her therapist, wants to reconcile with Sam and her children; Katherine is convinced that her liaison with Mark will not endure and is determined to enjoy her remaining time with him. A new member, welcomed gingerly into the book club, turns out to be a good addition. The ladies struggled with both the play and with the awareness that because of their age, they and all their friends and mates were seen as obsolete.