The ‘Year of the Friend’ book list concluded with J R R Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, a wonderful example of friendship. Kim Nuxoll from Iowa City, IA and her Well-Read Mom group made the most of it with their special Lord of the Rings family get-together. We’re grateful to Kim for sharing her reflections on this great event!
When it was announced that Well-Read Mom would be reading The Fellowship of the Ring as our ultimate book for the Year of the Friend, I found that my husband and boys (age 8-13) were more enthused than I was. A shout rang out, “Mom, is finally going to read Tolkien!”
During the first month, as I reluctantly trudged into Middle Earth, there was often a set of eyes glancing over my shoulder and an attempt to act casual as they asked, “What part are you at?” Even though my husband was reading it out loud, for the third time, to my three boys I found myself retreating to my room to try to tackle the text on my own. Finally, I gave in.
I contacted the others in my group to see if I was the only one experiencing this level of enthusiasm at home and we concluded that we should embrace this and invite them all to join our discussion. You should have seen the look on my 8-year-old’s face when he learned that he was invited to join in on mom’s special once-a-month night out!
By word of mouth, I found some Tolkien enthusiasts in our own parish and lined up two guest speakers who were happy to come and give short talks on The Lord of the Rings, Catholicism, and how it relates to our world today. Of course, we included the fantastic WRM audio segments to frame the round table discussions and the questions from the reading companion helped guide us. The kids helped prepare and serve Hobbit snacks of lembas, cram, and trail mix along with some chai tea, root beer (served by Butterbur), and lemonade. The11-year-old cut out fur from an old thrift store stuffed toy and glued it to his socks for the occasion.
It was a wonderful multi-generational discussion of a true classic. The reluctant readers found joy in the enthusiasm of those around them. Now that my family has had a glimpse of mom’s book club, they are wondering what the next book will be. My 4-year-old daughter suggested that “Little House on the Prairie” would be a great book for moms.