Book club's 'Covert Affair’ canceled
Thomaston — The Thomaston Intergenerational Book Club will not discuss “A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS” by Jennet Conant Tuesday, March 19, at 2:30 p.m. at Thomaston Public Library, located in the historic Thomaston Academy building on Main Street/Route 1. This month's meeting has been canceled due to the late-winter snowstorm.
This book has generated controversy because some readers — avid Julia Child fans — have been disappointed by the relatively minor roles the Childs play in the story. The Childs were members of the Office of Strategic Services, where they served with bravery and honor. Conant widens her focus, however, to relay the intriguing stories of a whole group of men and women recruited into the citizen-spy service — in particular, one Jane Foster, a colorful colleague of the Childs. During the McCarthy era, Foster was accused of being a communist spy, a treasonous charge that could have culminated in execution. “A Covert Affair” follows the evidence to determine whether Foster was a double agent, a Soviet spy or a falsely accused American caught up in the hysteria of McCarthyism.
The book does provide some new details about Julia Child, but not in her usual guise as chef. The larger story here, however, is one of fear, paranoia and persecution during the communist witch-hunt years in America.
On the third Tuesday of each month, the Thomaston Intergenerational Book Club, a group of men and women of all ages, comes together to share their opinions and ideas about the book selection. Extra copies of the books are purchased by the Friends of the Thomaston Public Library from the Annual Appeal funds; donations are welcome.
Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or email@example.com.