evil eye.PNG

Spring Book Discussion

Evil Eye

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
  • Conference Room - Administration Wing
Evil Eye is a moving meditation on motherhood, inter-generational trauma and how surface appearances often obscure deeper truths...

About the Book 

Please join us for a discussion of the novel Evil Eye by Etaf Rum. 

This month's selection will feature a weekly discussion on Substack, where anyone interested in being a part of the conversation can join asynchronously and meet fellow book lovers! (Substack is a platform that lets you publish via the web, similar to a blog, but also allows writers to send newsletters via email and supports online discussion threads).

How does it work?

Use this link to view the Bud Werner Library Discussions Substack page, or go to substack.com and search for the newsletter. After opening the link, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and click 'Join the Chat' this will then provide you with the option to Scan the QR code and open it on your device. You can also download the Substack app for ease of use; if you want to view it on your computer, under the QR code, you can also click Or open on web and sign in with your email!

I have included an introduction post about the novel Evil Eye and a chat that anyone can contribute to. Each week, I will post a new question covering a specific portion of the book; however, feel free to introduce yourself, write why you are interested in reading the book, or talk about what you hope to gain by joining this community. There is no homework or an official way to participate. I will include the chapters I cover each week to prepare for any potential spoilers, but the point is to read at your own pace and engage when you have time or when something sparks your interest while reading. You do not need to join every week; if you miss the first couple, you can still contribute! This is entirely experimental and about creating a place for readers who may be too shy to speak in front of a group or for anyone who may not have time to attend the in-person book discussion. 

At the end, I will also host an in-person event where anyone interested in meeting their fellow commentators can join. It will also serve as a place for anyone who would rather just read on their own and discuss the book at the meeting. You can also contribute virtually and attend the event. 

The book is about Yara, a Palestinian-American woman raised in a conservative, emotionally volatile Palestinian family in Brooklyn. Yara thought she would finally feel free when she married a charming entrepreneur who took her to the suburbs. She's gotten to follow her dreams, completing an undergraduate degree in Art and landing an excellent job at the local college. As a traditional wife, she raises their two school-aged daughters, cares for the house, and prepares dinner when her husband gets home. Trying to balance her family with her professional ambitions, Yara knows that her life is infinitely more rewarding than her mother's. So why doesn't it feel like enough? After her dream of chaperoning a student trip to Europe evaporates and she responds to a colleague's racist provocation, Yara is put on probation at work and must attend mandatory counseling to keep her position. Her mother blames a family curse for the trouble she's facing. While Yara doesn't believe in old superstitions, she still grows increasingly uneasy with her mother's warning and the possibility of falling victim to the same mistakes. Shaken to the core by these indictments of her life, Yara finds her carefully constructed world beginning to implode. To save herself, Yara must reckon with the reality that the difficulties of the childhood she thought she left behind have very real and damaging implications not just for her own future but also for her daughters.

Bud Werner Library will provide a loan copy for the discussion, and it is also available in audio and e-book formats. The meeting is open to the public and anyone interested in diving into this exceptional novel. Erina Alkema, the Adult Services Associate Librarian, will lead a moderated but largely informal discussion in which we chat among fellow book lovers with a few guided questions. 

Please register online, and I hope to see you there! Once you register, you will be added to the book club group and receive reminders about the upcoming discussion! (You only need to register for this part if you want to attend the in-person event, which you can do at any time). 

If you sign up on Substack, you will receive email newsletter updates and reminders about the weekly chat! (Subscribe to Substack if you wish to participate in the conversation online!)

About the Club 


Welcome! The Bud Werner Book Discussion Group meets once a month and is facilitated by Bud Werner Library's Adult Services Associate Librarian, Erina Alkema. Open to anyone interested in participating, this group currently meets in the evening and is designed to be a casual, guided chat about our latest book selection. No need to attend all of the discussions, just pick the ones that interest you! We will have 10 copies available for loan, plus ebook and audiobook copies. Sign up at the circulation desk, call 970-367-4907, or use the registration button at the top of this page.