RED DEVILS Reading Group
We have had a great year reading a varied book list including one of our own choice in January, with books ranging from Sir Walter Scott’s 'Ivanhoe', through 'On The Left' by Alan Johnson, 'Elizabeth is Missing' by Emma Healey to Dan Snow’s 'On This Day in History'.
The following months brought us 'The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle' by Kirsty Wark. A first novel for this well known journalist about two women living on a remote island across different times. Wark’s insight into the human condition kept us all captivated. 'Do No Harm' by brain surgeon Henry Marsh was an interesting read in that Marsh talks about his trepidations in operating on human brains and the responsibility that goes with it. An astonishingly candid man with deep felt emotions in regard to his work. In April we tackled Barbara Kingsolver’s 'The Lacuna'. At 670 pages it is probably one of the longest books we have read about a young man, born in Mexico who moved to 1950’s McCarthyite America. A gripping story about identity, loyalty and the devastating power of accusations which can destroy innocent people.
During the Summer we read 'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine' by Gail Honeyman. An easy read about a woman who survived a horrendous fire at the age of ten which claimed the lives of her mother and sister. Eleanor lives a very contained life, doing the same things every day, eating the same food and keeping others at bay; until she meets Raymond and things start to change. Second book of the Summer was Alice McDermott’s 'The Ninth Hour', another fire in which a young girl’s father dies. It is an act of suicide which will have repercussions on many lives over the following decades. Sally is rescued from the fire by a Nun and so grows up in the Convent Laundry until, when she comes of age, she commits her own irrevocable deed.
At the height of Summer a Peter Robinson book was the choice. Gallows View is an Inspector Banks offering with all it’s non-PC language typical of the 80’s; all the more incongruous as they investigate crimes about women but continue to hold onto out-dated language and opinions of women. Despite this a good read especially if you like crime fiction.
As Autumn drews in we read Anne Tyler’s 'Clock Dance'. Willa Drake records the defining moments of her life, skipping through the years, a self discovery novel, She travels across America to help her son’s ex-girlfriend who has been shot. Willa is plunged into uncharted territory and finds pleasure in unexpected ways. In this life of an ordinary person we learn that it is never too late to change direction and choose our own path.
In October we read 'The One Who Wrote Destiny' by Nikesh Shalka, an interesting read with strong characters, especially the women, tells of a family saga from four points of view. This book covers such subjects immigration, racism, loss, grief, destiny; set in North Yorkshire. The family experiences death, eventually grandmother returns to Kenya to raise her daughter’s twins, children she hardly knows and who have no knowledge of living in Kenya.
Pat James (Group Leader) 410589