This post was written by Paige, our moderator for the month of June. Make her welcome, y’all.
Graphic by Sharlene
Hello, fellow Pink fans! My name is Paige. It is my pleasure to be able to be involved with the read along this month. The Passion of the Purple Plumeria has a special place in my heart because it is the story of Miss Gwen, who is one of my all-time favorite characters.
One of my favorite things about this read along has been getting to meet other readers who love Lauren’s books, and the Pink Carnation series in particular. My story is a bit different than some of the moderators in that I am not a professor of any sort, nor do I have a history or a law degree. I should probably whisper this bit, but I have never attended a book club in real life, and I have never wanted to. While I love to read, I feel awkward discussing books. I get a bit tongue-tied and insecure. It all starts to feel as if I am taking an oral exam; I don’t have that sort of recall or constitution. Yet, when Ashley asked if anyone wanted to participate in this particular “book club,” I could not get to my computer to reply quick enough. There is something about this series that calls even me to action.
I don’t mean to disparage myself, don’t misunderstand. My real point is that there may be others like me that read this. Sometimes I feel the tiny little bittest (I made that “bittest” up) as if I may not be quite smart enough to be part of all of this. I haven’t even been to England, for heaven’s sake. And then I laugh in my obnoxious cackling way, remind myself that it is fiction, poke myself with the figurative purple parasol, and get over it.
I first came across the series by serendipity sometime while walking out of a chain bookstore with my family. It was roughly a decade ago. I was on my way out the door when the cover of a copy of The Mischief of the Mistletoe caught my eye. I returned for it the next day, and upon realizing it was part of a series, also purchased The Secret History of the Pink Carnation.
I could make a joke about “The Series That Was Written Just For Me.” I know that so many others feel the same. It is more than a joke. This series was written just for us. Perhaps Lauren didn’t know that she was sitting down to write things that would make specifically me cry and cheer and become a Pink Fanatic. Yet, she could hardly have written a more personal series had she done just that. I am sure there must be a great quote out there about the personal’s relationship to the universal, because we all feel it about this series. That is what we all feel about great works of art. Yes, I just called this series a great work of art. It is to me.
One thing that I will share because it may be something that helps explain why I love this series, because it may be the only time that I am able to express it to Lauren in a public sort of way, and because someone who needs to read it may read it. About a decade ago, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I discovered these books during my recovery. There was a time when I was not sure how much of my sight I would recover or how much I would recover at all. I cannot, and so I will not, attempt to express how much these books have meant to me in this post. There will more time for that over the next few weeks.
I am looking so forward to rereading this gem of a book with you. Beyond anything, I want to thank Ashley for this fabulous project. I want to thank her for her generosity in opening it up to strangers. And I want to thank her for reminding me that the purpose is to keep this fun!
The reading planned reading schedule for this month is:
Week 1: Prologue – Ch. 5
Week 2: Ch. 6 – Ch. 12
Week 3: Ch. 13 – Ch. 19
Week 4: Ch. 20 –Ch. 26
Yes, my favorite color is purple! Happy reading everyone!