Book Club One
BOOK CLUB ONE'S GROUP LEADER is Sue Harsent, the Group meet on the first Monday of the month from 10 am to 12 noon.
The books, which are provided by the library, are handed out at the meeting to be read during the forthcoming month and then discussed at the next meeting.
Numbers for this Group are limited to enable the library to supply enough books for all but if you would like to join please do talk to Sue at the main monthly meeting or use the Contact page to send her an email
BOOK CLUB ONE SUPPORTS THE LIFEBOATS
As a one-off change in January the Book Club 1 met on Wednesday morning to discuss "At the edge of the orchard" by Tracy Chevalier. Two members were unable to read the book. A family of New England pioneers settle in the Black Swamp of Ohio. In order to get ownership of their claim they have to plant 50 apple trees. The harshness, drudgery and bleak future in this swamp makes the son and eventually the daughter leave. The story then leads to the son, Robert, drifting from one thing to another eventually getting involved in the gold rush in California. Where he meets an English plantsman who is in America to source new plants and trees to shipping back to England. Robert becomes the plantsman's assistant and helps with the gathering and storing of the plants and trees for transport to England. His sister tracks him down in California and having given birth to her child there dies almost immediately after. So Robert is now responsible for his nephew.
It was agreed by all that the harshness of life in the swamp and the continuing struggle for the survival of the apple trees became so dull, and you did not look forward to picking up the book for more of the same. One became bored to tears with apples, one was fed up with the apples etc. The story really took off once the son had left the swamp and wrote letters back to his family. It was like two different stories the first dull, dreary and hopeless the second full of hopes and dreams. The mother was such a difficult person, cruel to her children and obviously a drunk who only wanted to grow apples to make apple jack. She looked forward to when the swamp fever came, as an excuse to drink as much apple jack as possible to ward off the effects of the fever. Her treatment of her children left the son in later life unable to commit to a relationship with a woman. One said had she chosen the book from the library she would have given up and not finished it, but once over the apple saga she actually loved it. Generally speaking if you managed to get through to the end you did enjoy the story only one did not enjoy the book as a whole. But it was not an easy read over the Christmas holiday.
After this meeting the Book Club 1 went out for our New Year lunch at the Thorpe Bay Golf Club and had a lovely meal. Our book this month is "I capture the castle" by Dodie Smith.
In February we will revert to our regular meeting time of the first Monday in the month at 10am.