We’ve had a change to April’s book as we are going to have a special guest join us for our April meeting. Carmel Harrington, author of Beyond Grace’s Rainbow has offered to visit our book club.
We will read Beyond Grace’s Rainbow and discuss it on the night.
We are really looking forward to welcoming Carmel. The meeting date is to be confirmed.
We kept Kate Morton’s rather wonderful ‘The Secret Keeper’ for a second month so postponed ‘Crow Lake’ to March.
Aine has chosen February’s book. It will be Crow Lake by Mary Lawson.
Crow Lake is that rare find, a first novel so quietly assured, so emotionally pitch perfect, you know from the opening page that this is the real thing-a literary experience in which to lose yourself, by an author of immense talent.
Here is a gorgeous, slow-burning story set in the rural “badlands” of northern Ontario, where heartbreak and hardship are mirrored in the landscape. For the farming Pye family, life is a Greek tragedy where the sins of the fathers are visited on the sons, and terrible events occur-offstage.
Centerstage are the Morrisons, whose tragedy looks more immediate if less brutal, but is, in reality, insidious and divisive. Orphaned young, Kate Morrison was her older brother Matt’s protegee, her fascination for pond life fed by his passionate interest in the natural world. Now a zoologist, she can identify organisms under a microscope but seems blind to the state of her own emotional life. And she thinks she’s outgrown her siblings-Luke, Matt, and Bo-who were once her entire world.
In this universal drama of family love and misunderstandings, of resentments harbored and driven underground, Lawson ratchets up the tension with heartbreaking humor and consummate control, continually overturning one’s expectations right to the very end. Tragic, funny, unforgettable, Crow Lake is a quiet tour de force that will catapult Mary Lawson to the forefront of fiction writers today
We will discuss it on Tuesday February 25th.
Elaine has chosen January’s book The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.
1961: On a sweltering summer’s day, while her family picnics by the stream on their Suffolk farm, sixteen-year-old Laurel hides out in her childhood tree house dreaming of a boy called Billy, a move to London, and the bright future she can’t wait to seize. But before the idyllic afternoon is over, Laurel will have witnessed a shocking crime that changes everything.
2011: Now a much-loved actress, Laurel finds herself overwhelmed by shades of the past. Haunted by memories, and the mystery of what she saw that day, she returns to her family home and begins to piece together a secret history. A tale of three strangers from vastly different worlds–Dorothy, Vivien and Jimmy–who are brought together by chance in wartime London and whose lives become fiercely and fatally entwined…
Scary to be announcing December’s book and it’s not quite Halloween! Sarah has chosen Lifesaving for beginners by Ciara Geraghty.
Kat Kavanagh is not in love. She has lots of friends, an ordinary job, and she never ever thinks about her past.This is Kat’s story. None of it is true.Milo McIntyre loves his mam, the peanut-butter-and-banana muffins at the Funky Banana café, and the lifesaving class he does after school. He never thinks about his future, until the day it changes forever.This is Milo’s story. All of it is true.And then there is the other story. The one with a twist of fate which somehow brings together a boy from Brighton and a woman in Dublin, and uncovers the truth once and for all. This is the story that’s just about to begin . .
Claire has chosen November’s read – Beatsploitation by Kevin Curran. You can read the Irish Times review of it here.
There are three copies currently in the Wexford Library system.
I have chosen October’s book, The Glass Room by Simon Mawer.
High on a Czechoslovak hill, the Landauer House shines as a marvel of steel and glass and onyx. Built specially for newlyweds Viktor and Liesel Landauer, a Jew married to a gentile, it is one of the wonders of modernist architecture. But the radiant honesty and idealism of 1930 that the house seems to engender quickly tarnishes as the storm clouds of World War Two gather. Eventually, as Nazi troops enter the country, the family, accompanied by Viktor’s lover Kata and her child Marika, must flee.
Yet the family’s exile does not signify the end of this spectacular building. It slips from hand to hand, from Czech to Nazi to Soviet and finally back to the Czechoslovak state, the crystalline perfection of the Glass Room always exerting a gravitational pull on those who know it. It becomes a laboratory, a shelter from the storm of war, and a place where the broken and the ruined find some kind of comfort, until with the collapse of Communism, the Landauers are finally drawn back to where their story began.
Jennie has chosen the book for September – ‘The faster I walk, the smaller I am‘ by Kjersti Skomsvold
Anne Marie has chosen August’s book – The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory.
Two women competing for a man’s heart. Two queens fighting to the death for dominance. The untold story of Mary, Queen of Scots. Fleeing rebels in Scotland on Queen Elizabeth’s false promise of sanctuary, Mary, Queen of Scots, finds herself imprisoned as the “guest” of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his indomitable wife, Bess of Hardwick. Soon the newly married couple’s home becomes the center of intrigue and rebellion against Elizabeth, and their loyalty to each other and to their sovereign comes into question. If Mary succeeds in seducing the earl into her own web of treason, or if the great spymaster William Cecil links them to the growing conspiracy to free Mary from her illegal imprisonment, they will all face the headsman. Using new research and her passion for historical accuracy, Gregory places the doomed queen into a completely new tale of suspense, passion, and political intrigue.
Read more at: http://www.philippagregory.com/books/the-other-queen
Merle has chosen July’s book, the wonderful Life of Pi by Yann Martel. It was winner of the Man Booker prize in 2002, so plenty of copies available in library. This is my dog-eared copy. Having seen the beautiful 3-D film adaptation recently, I am looking forward to re-reading the novel.
‘Some books defy categorisation: Life of Pi, the second novel from Canadian writer Yann Martel, is a case in point: just about the only thing you can say for certain about it is that it is fiercely and admirably unique. The plot, if that’s the right word, concerns the oceanic wanderings of a lost boy, the young and eager Piscine Patel of the title (Pi). After a colourful and loving upbringing in gorgeously-hued India, the Muslim-Christian-animistic Pi sets off for a fresh start in Canada. His blissful voyage is rudely interrupted when his boat is scuppered halfway across the Pacific, and he is forced to rough it in a lifeboat with a hyena, a monkey, a whingeing zebra and a tiger called Richard. That would be bad enough, but from here on things get weirder: the animals start slaughtering each other in a veritable frenzy of allegorical bloodlust, until Richard the tiger and Pi are left alone to wander the wastes of ocean, with plenty of time to ponder their fate, the cruelty of the gods, the best way to handle storms and the various different recipes for oothappam, scrapple and coconut yam kootu. The denouement is pleasantly neat. According to the blurb, thirtysomething Yann Martel spent long years in Alaska, India, Mexico, France, Costa Rica, Turkey and Iran, before settling in Canada. All those cultures and more have been poured into this spicy, vivacious, kinetic and very entertaining fiction.’