Friday, April 15, 2011

Book Club Challenge: "Lost" by Gregory Maguire

Victoria with her copy of Lost
As a new member of the Etsy Metal Team I really wanted to dive right in. I knew a few members from Ring A Day and had had a couple of discussions about books with them previously, so when a request was put out for new group challenges I quickly suggested a book club/jewelry challenge. The challenge: read and discuss a book chosen by the group and then create a piece of jewelry inspired by a character or the book as a whole. Several people showed interest and at Victoria's suggestion we quickly settled on our first book: "Lost" by Gregory Maguire.

Copper Cuff by Karla Wheeler
"The image of square inside of square inside of square always makes me cross eyed and gives me a headache.....kind of like the book" - Karla Wheeler

Maquire is most widely known for his re-works of popular fairy tales, most notably Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, which is based on L. Frank Baums, The Wizard of Oz. Wicked gained such notoriety that it was adapted for the stage and is now enjoying the 17th longest run in Broadway history. Like Wicked and Maquire's other tales, Lost revolves around a female protagonist, Winifred Rudge. Unlike Maguire's other works, Lost is not based on a classic but originates from Maguire's imagination alone.

"When opening Lost by Gregory Maguire, I was excited and tentative at the same time. I have read most of his previous infamous rewrite stories. My excitement was from reading Wicked and Son of a Witch which I absolutely loved! The tentativeness came from just finishing Lion amongst Men & Confessions of a Ugly Stepsister. I feel like I am finally getting a sense of his style and I am now seeing a pattern that I am left with this feeling of always wishing there was more information, more feeling, more connection, there is a lot of incompleteness with a lot of unanswered questions, and not in a good way. For this particular book it was tenfold. I literally felt Lost and severely disappointed." - Victoria Takahashi

One thing that I greatly admire about Maguire's work is the way he often sets his scenes in historical landscapes with great attention to politics and imagery. In Lost, the majority of the plot takes place in present day London and although Maguire's utilized his talent for painting the scene through his words and building the mood through the settings, the extreme disconnection between the characters and at times outlandish dialogue paired with the very unlikable Winifred Rudge prevented the reader from empathizing with the characters or their stories. To make matters worse, Maguire attempted the almost cliche undertaking of writing a story about a writer writing a story, the result of which was often redundant and confusing.

Copper and Brass Pendant by Erin Austin
"The walls that the main character constructed to distance herself from everyone around her was the inspiration for this piece. Just when one thought there might be a breakthrough for Winnie or the book as a whole, SLAM, another brick wall." -Erin Austin

Oxidized Sterling Silver and rough Diamonds.
Approximate size 5.5-6  USA.
Ring comes with plastic kitty ring holder.
 Victoria Takahashi
"I did not get inspired to really make anything directly from the book. I did however have a strong feeling and memory about this one character named "Chutney", the orange tabby who had a unsavory demise in a oven. So in response to this unfortunate kitty, in him I have found a muse and made him a Diamond necklace that he can proudly wear, look at him smile!" - Victoria Takahashi

Copper Compass by Evelyn Markasky
"I was lost and couldn't find my way." - Evelyn Markasky

Have you read Lost? Let us know what you thought.
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