It was the one suggestion received...
but, even more importantly, it is where Jane Duncan herself wanted to start. Jane was quite the phenomenon in the publishing community when she started. She had been writing privately for years and had several books finished before she ever even approached a publishing house. She was surprised when they accepted her first novel; they were surprised to learn they didn't have to wait for her to write the next book as she had more already done.
Jane wanted the publisher to start with My Friend Muriel. She was overruled and My Friends the Miss Boyds was published first instead.
However we, the fans, have decided to go back to the Author's wishes and start where she wanted us to.
Now - down to business:
The book discussion will kick off on Thursday 31 July 2008, with a post from me starting you off.
There will be some little 'ground rules' for this discussion - nothing too worrying - just intended to keep things pleasant.
All opinions should be respected and all posts should be respectful.
The enjoyment is in the discussion and debate and no one has the right answer.
Discussion can be about any aspect of the book - from the style of writing, to characterisation, to the links to the Author's own life, to plot, to motivations, to the period and social mores of the time, etc.
Posts don't have to be strictly discussion about this book - you may want to post about Jane or about other books too (e.g. comparing how she dealt with the same theme differently in Muriel and another of her books), although we will be concentrating this time round on Muriel.
If the spirit moves you to write a story or ficlet, or poem, or draw something, or... ??? (my imagination fails me) this is OK; this community belongs to its members and welcomes their ideas. However, if you post a story (ficlet, drabble, poem, drawing) please remember to put it behind a cut (more will be said about that in another post later).
In the discussions, as much as possible try not to anticipate what comes next. What this means, loosely speaking, is: if we're discussing part one, please try not to jump to part four before we get there.
However, that being said, it's not always possible to be so neat and tidy and spoilers happen and we accept that.
Muriel has four parts (rather than chapters). This will be a 'part-by-part' discussion. Each 'part' is rather longer than the average chapter in a novel so it may take us a couple of weeks to finish the book discussion for each part. We'll play it by ear since this is the first time this community has done this kind of thing.
So, anyone who hasn't re-read Muriel in a while - get reading! In the meantime, please continue to check back to the community page as there will be other things going on before the book discussion gets underway.