Welcome Paige, Our Pink X Moderator!

This post was written by Paige, our moderator for the month of June.  Make her welcome, y’all.

PlumeriaSharleneGraphic 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!

17 thoughts on “Welcome Paige, Our Pink X Moderator!

  1. Hi Paige!
    I am not a lawyer or a professer either!
    My daughter is finishing up her semester abroad in England and has a few Eloise experiences though! 🙂
    I found the Pink series during an interesting time in my life as well. I needed to read a book or two over a weekend while I waited for tests results. I checked out a Katharine Ashe and a Lauren Willig book from the library (I loved the Ballroom blog!) and have read the entire series. My tests results were negative and I found two new authors to read! So, I understand what you say about the series being special to you!
    Looking forward to re reading Ms Gwen’s story with everyone!

  2. Hi Paige!

    I’m not a lawyer, I have taught an adjunct class as a professor, but in real life I’m a middle school librarian who doesn’t have time to read! I understand a part of your story…I discovered the pink series when my husband and I found out that we couldn’t conceive. I was going through fertility treatments and my raging hormones while injecting other hormones made me a monster, but I would pop in a Pink CD that I checked out from the library and my commute would be more peaceful, I would laugh with Ms. Gwen and Turnip and get frustrated with Hen and Amy and get lost in all of the other romantic peccadilloes.

    I am currently the mother of four, and listening to all of the Pink books (for the fifth time) in anticipation of the next one coming. Like you, this is my FAVORITE so far (of course Sally and her stoat come close).


    • Hi Patricia! I really enjoy the Pink audio books, too! I currently have a fairly long work commute and have been listening again during this read along. I have five children, so I can understand somewhat how busy you are. 🙂 Being a librarian and having little time to read sounds extra trying! I think you must be earning some type of goodness points to redeem somewhere later. Oh, yes, Sally!

  3. Yay! This is the first of the “Pink” books that I HAVEN’T read before — I’m already enjoying the newness of it 🙂
    I was in a “real” bookgroup once… I rarely had helpful things to contribute… I consider myself an academic, but I’m just learning to enjoy picking apart books (writing reviews is SO hard for me!) I’ve loved how fun and light this read-along has been… glad you’re hosting this book!

    • How fabulous that this book is new to you and that this read-along has been fun! I really like your username! Since we are all friends here, I will admit that I have the worst hangup about writing just casual reviews for books I have read. I bet that you did contribute helpful things in your “real” workgroup, though. 🙂

  4. I am not very well-educated either. My college was all science and nursing courses. The two English courses I had were a repeat of what I had already done in AP English…I spent the class writing letters to my future husband. The teacher used to wink at me because I was apparently the only one in her class who could write a coherent essay.

    I love this book, partly because the H and H are so wonderful, and I always appreciate middle age romance. But the humor is also top notch, and I think the Eloise-Colin section is perfect.

    • I really enjoy the Eloise-Colin storyline, Sheila! I am so glad that you think the humor and leads are wonderful in this book. I know I sure do! Your story about writing letters to your future husband during English class sounds like it could be used as an outline or plot device of some type.

  5. Paige, I’ve been looking forward to this discussion for several months because I also love this particular Pink book. And I may be a history professor but I am very shy and I always dread talking to other professors at conferences because I often feel, as you so perfectly put it, “tongue-tied and insecure.”

    I think I remember you mentioning that you liked Alice Turner Curtis’s Little Maid series several months ago? They’re some of my favorites as well and I used to borrow them from my great aunt who had nearly all of them saved from her childhood. And my apologies if I’m mixing you up with someone else!

    • I think I was the one who mentioned the Little Maid books. How I loved them. You are the only one besides me who seems to have read them. The books seemed old when I read them in the Fifties.

      • Sheila,

        Sorry if that was you! I had meant to comment on that at the time. My great aunt lived on the other side of a meadow from my family in the summer months and I would go and have tea with her in the afternoon and borrow a Little Maid book or one of Lucy Fitch Perkins’ Twin books from her- have you heard of them?

        I kept borrowing one a summer until her death in 2002 and while they’re still in her house and I could have borrowed one from her daughter, it never felt the same without her. But a couple of years ago, I found A Little Maid of Newport at a book sale and I’ve been rereading them as I find them- the Little Maid of South Carolina had me as on the edge of my seat as it did when I was ten- it’s still my favorite.

      • No problem, I just looked and see that Amazon has several in book and e book. I also liked We were There, what a great way to get interested in history. I don’t remember the twin books.

    • Hi Abby! I am so excited that you also love this book! I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts about it.

  6. Hi Paige,

    I am so looking forward to you leading this discussion, as I have enjoyed your comments throughout. This is certainly a series that has drawn a lot of different readers from many backgrounds and for many reasons. That is what makes the “Pink” community so great.

    I am a retired teacher – last June, thank goodness, but like others have mentioned, I grew up shy. I learned to be more outgoing when my husband, a retired Marine, went on deployments and I was left with all the responsibility of the home and family. That will do it to you. Having always wanted to teach, I entered the field late (because of all those transfers to many duty stations), and struggled with standing in front of the classroom. It was very nerve-wracking at first, even though I only taught 5th graders, and boy was I shaking in my boots when it was time for an administrative observation. I found out this was only cured by time and practice, and always gave that advice to new teachers. To quote an old Nike slogan – “Just do it!”, and I’m glad you’re putting yourself out there to DO IT!

    As far as book clubs go, I was a member of one for about five years – started it with a friend, but gradually came to realize my limited reading time was spent reading books I didn’t really like as we rotated among 8 people making the choice (which was only fair). So I graciously bowed out and much prefer reading books along with people who share the same tastes. That’s what makes a book group fun! Thanks for stepping up!

    • Hi Betty! It is amazing what a community these books have built, isn’t it? I am so happy that I have gotten the opportunity to become acquainted with you. I am looking forward to finding out what you think about “Plumeria.”

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