Book Club Blowout – Dollface by Renee Rosen
May 3, 2015
Welcome to Book Club Blowout – my monthly feature where I select a book for your book club along with food, drinks, costumes, games, decorations, music, or whatever I can think of to create a perfect themed event to make your book club just a little extra special. One of my favorite historical fiction novels is Dollface by Renee Rosen. I have always thought it would be fun to have a party themed around the 1920’s, prohibition, and the Jazz Age. Here’s what I think would make an awesome book club for you and your friends:
Of course, the ladies can dress as flappers. I so love the look and feel of the dresses and how they will contribute to a fun and carefree atmosphere. I could totally see myself in the blue dress to the left. The men can wear suits such as those pictured to the right. I also love the addition of a hat for added impact.
To create that speakeasy feel, you’ll want it to be pretty dark. Place lots of tealight candles around so that your guests can see, but leaving an overall sense of secrecy in the air. I also love the idea of reusing old liquor bottles, and adding a string of lights to create additional ambiance.
You can also create wanted posters for the “felons” that are coming to your event. Your guests can then take their poster home at the end of the evening as a favor. I love when you send a guest home with something that makes them recall your event. There are several templates for wanted posters on Google Images to help you with this project.
A little research led me to the epitome of 1920’s cocktails….Planter’s Punch. Apparently rum became quite popular during this period of time. Have some ready for your guests, and they are sure to get in the mood of your speakeasy setting. Here is a recipe from barmano.com (I tried to link you up to an easy recipe – some of them got quite complicated):
Recipe instructions for a Planters Punch:
Pour Rum, Grenadine and Lemon Juice in a shaker with ice.
Pour into highball glass with ice.
Top off with soda water.
Garnish with lemon and orange slices.
Another drink option is to purchase the already made Midnight Moon Moonshine. You can serve it with club soda or Sprite or if you are feeling adventurous, the website offers several recipes if you want to try something new and different.
It’s the 1920’s…the Jazz Age. Of course you need to play Jazz Music! Swing music was also popular during this time so feel free to change your playlist up throughout the evening.
There is so much that can be discussed in this book: traditional roles of men and women during this time, living an illegal lifestyle, breaking social norms, the lifestyle of the mob. Rosen’s website includes a reader’s guide, which includes an overview of the main themes as well as discussion questions tied to those themes. I personally loved some of the questions about loyalty – they really make you think about your own beliefs and would spark a seriously engaging chat. As a bonus, it gives you directions for contacting Rosen to have a live discussion with your book club via Skype. How totally awesome would that be!
Give your guests a password that they will need to enter – just like an old speakeasy!
Have your guests enter a side or backdoor to make it feel more illicit.
I feel like there is so much more that can be done with this one! What else would you recommend for a Dollface book club?