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October was a busy month for Arova – in addition to the events our Advocates have participated in, we started the Arova Book Club. The idea first came to us last holiday season when a customer from a breast cancer awareness event purchased several hundred dollars of our Janta Wine bags as a gift for the members of her book club – they were reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers. We thought a book club would be a great way to explore topics important to our Advocates, and us as well as create a way to bridge the physical distance between individuals in order to build a stronger relationship as co-workers and friends. The Behind the Beautiful Forevers, written by Pultizer Prize winner, Katherine Boo, explores the daily life and struggles of several characters within a small settlement outside the Mumbai, India airport - Annawadi.
Another key factor in our selection was that our founder, Megan Milar, spent three years in India with her husband and children – witnessing firsthand the realities of India. Our first meeting was spent talking about the first two chapters which brought back many memories and emotions for Megan regarding her experiences in India. While reading she thought, “..about how it would be to read about this environment without personally witnessing it. The detailed way Katherine Boo describes the slum sounds so "fictional". Megan’s experience in India made a lasting and impactful impression, as it is part of what lead to the creation of AROVA.
We are looking forward to exploring this book with our Advocates and others. We will keep our AROVA followers updated with discussion points, so check back for updates and comments by our fellow advocates and book club members.
To purchase the book via amazon.com, visit Katherine Boo's page.