The Strength of Book Club Friendship

The original article about the late Dr. Linda Brodsky was published in 2014; the blog below is the 2021 update. This story illuminates the strength of friendship found in our monthly book club meetings.

About 15 years ago, I met with a respected, locally, nationally, and internationally physician, and we started talking about books.  She said to me, “One day I’m going to start a book club and I hope you will join.”   

You Call This Light Reading?

Two years later, my friend called to say I am starting the book club – meet at my house on this date, and we will commence.  I was nervous that first day; the other members were all accomplished women, well-known in the community and beyond.  I admit I was intimidated. The first book for our light summer reading was Bleak House, 1017 pages, 360,947 words!      

Our book-club was no ordinary book club. We met at the same house (our founder) at each meeting, recorded minutes, and after the second meeting, when nobody ate, we eliminated snacks.  The 2-hour book club meetings included mind-expanding book discussions; our name, the Busy Women Book Club (BWBC) described us perfectly.

Each meeting, we would find our seats, always gravitating towards the same chairs.   The first order of business: talk about something that happened in our lives since the last meeting. Yes, it was added to the minutes, and after our chat, we started the book discussion.  The member who suggested the book became the leader for that gathering, although clearly this group has many leaders and by the end of each session we all had the floor! Our founder always kept us in-check, especially if we had more chit-chat than book-chat.  The breadth of our discussions was vast and all-encompassing.  We often digressed, but our founder would bring us back – every time.

Legally Blond, Who Knew?

Each year, included a movie and meal night – this is when I found out, to my delight, that the favorite movie of our founder was “Legally Blond”.  I will admit, I love Legally Blond because it is funny and romantic; our founder relished Legally Blond because it exemplified the third wave of feminism.  Yes, I had to look it up at the time.

Over the years, we became a solid group; month after month, we became friends by learning about each other’s lives and sharing our happiness and sorrows.

Tragedy Struck our Book Club

Tragedy struck our book-club founder in September 2014; she suffered a traumatic and ultimately fatal head injury.  She was in the hospital for over five months.  Our book-club rallied around our friend, Dr. Linda Brodsky, and family.  We brought meals to the family; visited numerous times each week for months along with other community members, friends, and family.  We cried and prayed together. Our group continued to meet, but now we were meeting in Linda’s hospital room, with the hope that Linda heard our discussion, prayers and felt our love. The community united in prayer for Dr. Linda Brodsky; she was admired and respected near and far – But To us, she was our beloved friend. Linda, our friend, passed from her injuries on February 13, 2014.

The Strength of  Book Club Friendship - Dr. Linda Brodsky

Strength of Friendship

One never knows what tomorrow will bring.  Who knew that this group of women, mostly strangers to each other, would form such a tight bond of friendship? Book-clubs are so much more than a monthly meeting; it’s the opportunity for discussion that not only enhances our thought process but, more importantly, leads to friendship and connection.

Fast-Forward to 2021 and our group has grown and continues to meet via Zoom. We talk about Linda and think of her often. She is still the founder of our group and is in our hearts and thoughts.

I hope that when my book comes out, it will be on our Busy Women’s Book Club reading list.  Our group has a lot of opinions and insight and it will take courage for me to attend that meeting. I hope to have the opportunity to meet with other book clubs.

My Name is Vickie Rubin and I Did Not Finish the BOOK!

Epilogue:  When I walked into the first BWBC meeting all those years ago, I admitted to all that I did not read the 1017-page Dickens’ book over my summer vacation!  They still kept me in the group!

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7 thoughts on “The Strength of Book Club Friendship

  1. Hi Vicky, this is such a great story about your book club! I adopted my daughter, Angelica, from Colombia at age 3. We were told she would go deaf from untreated ear infections while in the orphanage. We brought her to Linda when we returned home for a diagnosis. Linda closely monitored her and at age 7 rebuilt both of her eardrums. She is now a happy, healthy 14 year old who loves listening to music. Thank you for the article and memories.

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