June’s book is The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan.
Our book for April was Beyond Grace’s Rainbow by Carmel Harrington. At our meeting on Tuesday we were extremely lucky to have Carmel join us for tea, chats and cake. Carmel lives nearby and offered to come up to our book club if we wished. We jumped at the chance. Kim made wonderful cupcakes, iced to match the cover of Beyond Grace’s Rainbow.
Beyond Grace’s Rainbow is in the Romance section and it was a new venture for the book club to read this genre. We had read only one or two ‘chick-lit’ style novels before. Beyond Grace’s Rainbow isn’t a typical romance though. It is written in a conversational style that keeps it light but the subject matter is quite heavy. I loved the local references, the shops, areas, things that are uniquely Irish and make you feel you’re closer to the characters. I also loved the nod to rural Ireland and the ways of the people both past and present. The big twist in the story was a huge comment on rural Ireland in the past.
I feel we interrogated poor Carmel, Where did she get the ideas for the story, the characters etc.?, how does she write novels while she has two small children?, where does she fit in the time? What is it like to under pressure to write the next novel? She patiently answered everything, and we went way off the point and back to it again like we normally do at our book club meetings. She was instantly liked and fit in great to our little circle. We spoke about our children, where we were all from, living in Wexford, days out, everything.
Carmel brought us goodies books and book bags and we played book bingo to see who would win them. She also signed our copies of the book and book marks.
Carmel has promised to come back to us to discuss her new novel The Life you Left, due out in the summer. It is a murder mystery, we are looking forward to reading it and considering the twists in Beyond Grace’s Rainbow, I’m sure its going to be a great read. We will look forward to
interrogating discussing it with her then.
Thanks again Carmel for taking the time out from a very busy editing schedule and driving up to Gorey on a Tuesday evening. Having an author discuss the book with us really opened up new questions, I feel we got a more indepth look at all aspects of the book and were able to see it from the unique vantage of the author’s own eyes. We really enjoyed the chats and look forward to next time.
Kim has chosen May’s Book it is The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.
“Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.”
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…