Book Club

Book list 2014-15

May 2014  :  The Art of racing in The Rain by garth Stevens out from it. This hilarious yet moving story has all of the epic elements of life, death, love, betrayal and loss but what makes it unique is that it is narrated by Enzo, the family dog. From his unique canine perspective Enzo describes the idyllic life he leads with his owners, Denny and Eve, until it is devastated by illness. Enzo, wise beyond his doggy years - which of course are seven of ours - describes the events that unfold as the family tries to cope with Eve's cancer diagnosis.

June 2014  :  The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce  A story about one man's walk along the length of England to save the life of a dying woman. Each chapter describes a different encounter along the way, with a definite nod to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

July 2015  :  The constant Gardner by John Le Carre  The story follows Justin trying to trace the killers of his wife Tessa. We get to know Tessa through her husbands flashbacks and the story is written from a the point of view of a number of different characters. It is set in Kenya, England and Italy. It is essentially a love story but also a mystery.

August 2014  :  Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty  Sometimes a book you don't expect to like really takes you by surprise and makes you sit up and take notice. Gripping from the beginning this book takes you on a roller coaster of a journey as we watch as Yvonne Carmichael, a renowned scientist, begins an illicit and highly addictive extra marital affair with man who is at first a stranger. This irresponsible liaison which begins with a risky sexual encounter will ultimately spin Yvonne's life out of control. This is an angry novel that has many important things to say - about inequality between the sexes, sexism, violence against women, how women are treated in the legal system; and also about the nature of identity, the idealised images we can form of others, and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, how we define ourselves.

September 2014  : The Week in December by Sebastian Fawkes  The book follow various of London's inhabitants in the week before Christmas and discover their interconnectedness. And, at the end, love is the answer - parental love, romantic love and love of money, status and power.

October 2014 : The last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier  Honor Bright is a sheltered Quaker who has rarely ventured out of 1850s Dorset when she impulsively emigrates to America. Opposed to the slavery that defines and divides the country, she finds her principles tested to the limit when a runaway slave appears at the farm of her new family. In this tough, unsentimental place, where whisky bottles sit alongside quilts, Honor befriends two spirited women who will teach her how to turn ideas into actions.

November 2014 : French Mans Creek by Daphne Du Maurier  The book is  about Lady Dona St Column who is bored of her life and longing, not only for some excitement, but for something with some meaning. She escapes to the cornish coast where she meats a dashing pirate wanted by all her "friends" and embarks on an exciting adventure.

December 2014  :  Fillet of Plaice by Laurence Durrel .  This is a humour assortment of animal-human adventures, from the time he was marooned with his eccentric family on a deserted Mediterranean cove, to the war-gaming old soldier with a secret in his six attics, to the adorable girlfriend who mugged the Queen's English with her every sentence.

January 2015  :  Forgotten Garden by Kate Morten  It tells of a poor little rich girl and her ambitious, devious mother who only wants the very best for her daughter. Whatever Rose wants, Rose gets. Nothing is allowed to get in the way, and when Eliza comes into the picture, she and Rose develope a powerful bond. There is mystery galore in this novel, going back through generations of the Mountrachet family. What happened to the beautiful Georgiana? Why? There are many questions to be answered, and the story eventually unravels the mystery. We travel from Australia to Cornwall, firstly with Nell, who has to search out her origins, and later, with Cassandra, Nell's granddaughter, who hopes to find the answers to so many questions that have haunted Nell throughout her life.

February 2015  :  The Host by Stephanie Myers A fascinating, passionate, and unique psychological thriller. In The Host, Stephenie Meyer gives a new and surprising meaning to the phrase `being of two minds!  Wanderer, our narrator and worm-like parasite, is reborn in a human body after years on a series of other worlds and in other forms. She expects the host's soul to be gone as they have always been in the past. Her host's mind, however, is still very active and, reaching an accomodation with it, they go in search of her younger brother and boyfriend.

March 2015  :  New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani  The book begins in 1943. Finland was fighting Russia as an ally of Germany, but the Germans were on the retreat and the traditional Russian enemy is poised for, and eventually launches, a new invasion of Finland.

The central character is called Sampo Karjalainen. He is found clubbed unconscious by some assailant in Trieste. That Finish name - drawn from Finnish mythology - is sewn into his seaman's jacket, but he has lost all memory of who he is and all understanding and use of language.

April 2015  :  The light between Oceans by Stedman  The Light Between Oceans is a post WW1 Australian set novel about Tom Sherbourne who having been demobbed gets a job as a lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock. Soon after he marries and he and his wife come to love their isolated idyll. Their paradise becomes tainted by their inability to have children and following her third miscarriage Isabel is cracking under the strain of the grief, when one night a boat is shipwrecked on their shores..... it contains a dead man and a newborn baby.

May 2015  :  The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho  Here Paulo Coelho details his journey across Spain along the legendaryroad of San Tiago, which pilgrims have travelled since Middle Ages. On this contemporary quest, he encounters a Chaucerian variety of mysterious guides and devilish opponents and learns to understand the nature of truth through the simplicity of life.