Monday, 23 June 2014

Book Club

So, life must be getting back to something approaching normal, or at least settling in to a new normal, because I made it to my second book club all year. To be honest, the only reason I made it to either was because they both happened chez moi, but I'm getting there!

Not only was I there, but I had read the book as well! Goodness knows how many titles I've missed this year, but I'm glad I didn't miss this one. Now, I'm not generally a big reader of detective/thriller books, but last year one of you kind folk recommended Martin Edwards as a Lake District read, and we're hooked on that series now; now I fully expect to be hooked on the Back Road sequels too.

Like J. K. Rowling's Casual Vacancy this book revolves around a very well described cannon of characters. Unlike Casual Vacancy, however, it is not at all a waste of however long you spend reading it. In a more positive comparison, like Roasmunde Pilcher's Winter Solstice it has a house at the core of the setting that becomes as much a charcter as the people who move in and out of it. I like books with house you can nearly feel. Unlike Winter Solstice you don't feel the need to count the number of Belfast sinks, although you will end up obsessed with yellow roses.

The Back Road moves on from a very distressing opening chapter into some very intricate weaving of characters and plot. Deliberate red herrings will leave you nonplussed until the end, and the distress of the beginning blossoms into a clever twist. It's not Great Literature. My definition of Great Literature is a book that will open up your whole life to you. This is entertainment, not the whole plaire et instruire upon which my ingrained Moliere insists, but I'm becoming less of a book snob either as I get older or as holidays approach. Or both. Actually, the lure for these books for me is the relationship suspense. I only read on with the Edwards books to find out whether or not they've got themselves together. I turn out to be a sucker for a nice love story.
 A quick glimpse at the rest of the night. Book Club is all about the food and the wine ultimately, don't you think? We have some very clever folk in our little band. Themed food and drink most months, don't you know? So because the house in the book has a huge drinks party at one point, we obviously had to have lots and lots of canapes as well. You might even spot one sinister yellow rose in their midst.
And here are two of my partners in crime. I think my life would be not quite so much fun without these two characters. Apparently if you lend a book to someone you should take a picture of them with the book to remind you where it is. I wish I had done that with my very missing crochet books...

Top is Heather Boss. My one time Library boss, and now Hookery leader. She would like to state that her Agatha Christie, our summer read, is all her own. Below is Queen Niqi, domestic goddess who is quite aware that she is re-enacting a mugshot! The rest of us are borrowing Agathas from Helena. So, Helena, I have pictures of all of us and books will be returned!

8 comments:

Pom Pom said...

I do wish I could be in a book club with you, Mags!

Kezzie said...

Oo, wish I was in a book club! Which Christie is it? Can't see the title!x

Lisa Richards said...

Yes, Pom. Wouldn't that be FUN?!? Loved the review!

Angela said...

Me too!

GretchenJoanna said...

I agree with Pom - and an online book club is NOT the same.

Fat Dormouse said...

It's not a book I've read...haste thee to Amazon.co.uk Fat Dormouse, to order it for your holidays!!
Do you know the Inspector Banks series? I really like those.(although the last few haven't been so impressive) and I LOVE Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series.

M.K. said...

What a fun evening for you all! I enjoyed your description of what you like/don't like in a book. I think we are much the same. I'm a sucker for a good love story too, and I ADORE INTO INFINITY any book that centers around an interesting house. Just my type! Thanks!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Mags, I don't usually throw books, dvd's or cd's away but Casual Vacancy went into the trash. I adore anything everything Pilcher has written...she's wonderful! As is Binchy.