Second Saturday Book Group

2023-2024 Theme: The Hill We Climb
Selection:   Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

Meeting Date: Saturday, April 13th, 2024
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
First published: 2022
Meeting Place: Sanctuary—in person!
No. of Pages: 352.  Discussion Leader: Dorie Maxwell

This will be our group’s last reading and discussion of this 2023-2024 season.  And Our Missing Hearts is a fitting culmination of our theme: The Hill We Climb.  All of our books this year have in some way explored the hills—the challenges, the difficulties—young people may encounter here in the United States as they are growing up.

This novel evolves around 12-year-old Noah—or Bird, as he has renamed himself— who is growing up under the loving care of his dad, Ethan. A review in The Guardian tells us about Our Missing Hearts: “In a not-too-distant future, following economic and social turmoil, an authoritarian government has taken power in the US.  Civil liberties have been rolled back….The country’s leaders stoke fears about the rise of China, pass draconian laws to enforce patriotic behavior, ban books and foment hatred against PAOs: People of Asian Origin.”  Into this setting, a bill is passed entitled “Preserving American Culture and Traditions” — PACT— to protect the country from the threat of those who undermine us from within. The bill’s provisions include wide-ranging measures to stamp out all forms of internal dissent, and it gives the government the power to remove children from parents deemed un-American.  These are the conditions in which we meet Bird, half Asian on his mother’s side, and therefore already suspect.  But he wants to find his mother. What will he do?  What is she doing?  What would we do?

As always, members and friends are welcome to join our discussion.   And after our discussion anyone is welcome to join up at Brio’s Italian Grill in the Gardens Mall for lunch and fellowship.

Want to plan ahead for next season?   Keep an eye out in our UU Matters and on our 1stUUPB website by mid-summer for our theme and selections for the 2024-2025 season of your Second Saturday Book Group, which meets November through April!