The Group meets on the second Friday of each month. We meet in the home of one of the group members and discuss the book of the month whilst enjoying coffee (or tea) and cake.
Our choice for February was "Freida" by Annabel Abbs. Aristocrat Frieda von Richthofen is married to English professor, Ernest Weekly and has three children. She visits her sisters in Munich and is captivated by a totally different lifestyle, clandestine affairs, mixing with artists and philosophers and ideas of revolution.
Returning home to Nottingham, she feels trapped in her everyday life and eventually meets D.H.Lawrence, embarking on a scandalous affair.
The book is basically the true story of Frieda Lawrence and her marriage to the writer. The characterisation is excellent and there are beautiful descriptions, particularly relating to nature.
Many of the female characters in the novels of D.H.Lawrence were inspired by Frieda, although their marriage came at great personal cost. An interesting book, the group had mixed feelings about this one.
We met in March to discuss "The Road Home" by Rose Tremain. The story concerns Lev, a middle-aged immigrant who has been recently widowed. He travels from an unspecified, eastern European country to find work in England when the sawmill where he works closes down. He hopes to be able to send money home to his Mother who is caring for his 5 year old daughter.
The book describes the friends he makes on his travels. Lydia, a translator from his own country helps him to find work and a place to live. Then there is a kind alcoholic Irish landlord, a rich lady in a care home and two gay Chinese men he meets while picking vegetables in East Anglia. Lev is a hard worker and finds his niche working in a restaurant kitchen.
We all enjoyed this book and had a lively discussion about how life must be for immigrants, even legal ones like Lev. They receive so little money and have to cope with the anti-social attitudes of many who they meet while trying to earn an honest living. We shall be looking for more works by this author in the future.