The first Book Club I ever attended as an author was hosted by a dear friend. She invited her book club which had disbanded a few years earlier because no one read the books. It was a sweet, generous, supportive gesture. Later that evening I told my husband, “They can only get better from here.” Two people showed besides the hostess and me. One had read part of the book. One hadn’t read it at all.
Daniel had come downstairs and sat at the kitchen table, toast and oatmeal on his right, a notebook to his left, his casted leg propped on a side chair.
After Mike gathered up his breakfast things, he joined Daniel.
“I finished the book last night,” Daniel announced.
Mike had suggested Daniel read A River Runs Through It for his English novella project. To convince Daniel, they’d watched the movie two nights ago.
“I liked the book better,” Daniel said. “There are great parts in the book the movie just brushes past.”
“Agreed,” Mike said.
“We should go fly-fishing sometime.”
Olivia had been cleaning inconspicuously. She looked up now from collecting the four odd remotes strewn about the family room and saw Mike set his hand on Daniel’s shoulder.
“July,” Mike said. “We could go over the Fourth.”
Daniel looked delighted, evidently not expecting such an immediate result to his query. “That’d be great, Dad.”
“I remember my dad giving me Norman MacLean’s book for Christmas one year. I was a sophomore in college,” Mike said. “I must have given him a look when I opened it. Something to imply it wasn’t much of a Christmas gift. But he said the second part was taking me fly-fishing. He wanted to plan a big trip for my college graduation.”
“Was it the next year he died?” Daniel asked.
“Yep,” Mike said, keeping his voice matter-of-fact. “That’s why we won’t put these trips off.”
Olivia tried to catch Mike’s eye to show him she approved of his plan. But Mike was looking at Daniel, and then he stood, having quickly finished the bowl of cereal. Walking to the sink, Mike added, “We won’t even let your broken leg keep us from fishing this weekend.”
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