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.