Members of the Saturday Sisters Book Club at Trinity United Methodist Church discuss a book during their June meeting. Pictured above, from left, Dianne Fowler, Marge O’Reilly, Vicky Segers, Pam Bothwell, Nancy Ramsey and Jan Gorman. Not pictured are Judy Slavik, Carol Palmeiro, Connie Canal, Connie Folkers, Bev Woods, Kathy Braga and Diane Gowens.

The coffee machine sputtered as Judy Slavik passed around her iPhone at a recent session of the Saturday Sisters Book Club, displaying a photo of her newest great-grandchild – her 14th.

“We sometimes don’t ever get on task,” Nancy Ramsey admitted with a chuckle.

Marge O’Reilly said the book club has been meeting since the late 1990s. She said the club formed when she had a foot reconstruction and was in a wheelchair for three months.

She said her friends decided she needed some entertainment and began to come to her house every week to discuss books.

“Well, I was bored silly,” O’Reilly said as the group laughed and murmured.

The book club now meets once a month.

O’Reilly said while the group meets at Trinity United Methodist Church in Ralston now, members also met at the home of another friend who was suffering from a muscle disease.

Members said the Saturday Sisters Book Club is a network of women who come and go, rather than a set group.

Vicky Segers said the number of women who come every month can vary. The group said some women stay on the roster, even though they do not come to meetings anymore.

“It’s always been a fun group,” Segers said.

The women said because it is a church book club, people assume members strictly read religious books – this could not be further from the truth.

“Our books have a slice of life in them,” Diane Fowler said.

At their latest meeting, they discussed “Secret Daughter” by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, a fiction book exploring the effects of gender, culture and environment on motherhood and marriage.

As they discussed the novel, group members took the opportunity to reminisce on their own experiences with motherhood. Some women spoke about the relief they felt when their child finally went to kindergarten, whereas others admitted that they were fearful that their child’s teacher wouldn’t realize “how special” their child was.

Regardless of their own personal experiences, the women had a place to share their experiences.

Connie Canal said this book club is a true “camaraderie of women” who can bring in their own experiences.

Canal said similar to their church community, the Saturday Sisters Book Club is a welcoming group of women who have an openness and warmth about them. She said the club is a group of strong, intelligent women who can each express their own opinions.

“We don’t have to agree, but we listen to each other,” Canal said.

Canal’s statement rings true about both their lives and their reading habits.

Jan Gorman said this book club gets her reading books she never would have considered. Slavik agreed and said the club keeps her reading. She also said their discussion changes the way she views a book.

“Everybody reads a book differently,” O’Reilly said.

The Saturday Sisters Book Club meets once a month at Trinity United Methodist Church, 8009 Q St. in Ralston. For more information, contact the church office at (402) 331-4054.

– Whitney Hansen is a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and her story was an assignment in a newswriting and reporting class.

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