Current Book Club Titles
Author: Magda Szabo
Tuesday 16th April 2019, 7pm FULLY BOOKED
Wednesday 17th April 2019, 7pm FULLY BOOKED
NOTES: In prewar Budapest three families live side by side on gracious Katalin Street, their lives closely intertwined. A game is played by the four children in which Bálint, the promising son of the Major, invariably chooses Irén Elekes, the headmaster's dutiful elder daughter, over her younger sister, the scatterbrained Blanka, and little Henriette Held, the daughter of the Jewish dentist.
Their lives are torn apart in 1944 by the German occupation, which only the Elekes family survives intact. The postwar regime relocates them to a cramped Soviet-style apartment and they struggle to come to terms with social and political change, personal loss, and unstated feelings of guilt over the deportation of the Held parents and the death of little Henriette, who had been left in their protection. But the girl survives in a miasmal afterlife, and reappears at key moments as a mute witness to the inescapable power of past events.
As in The Door and Iza's Ballad, Magda Szabó conducts a clear-eyed investigation into the ways in which we inflict suffering on those we love. Katalin Street, which won the 2007 Prix Cévennes for Best European novel, is a poignant, sombre, at times harrowing book, but beautifully conceived and truly unforgettable.
Now We Shall Be Entirely Free
Author: Andrew Miller
Wednesday 22nd May 2019, 7pm BOOKINGS NOW OPEN
Thursday 23rd May 2019, 7pm BOOKINGS NOW OPEN
NOTES: The rapturously acclaimed new novel by the Costa Award-winning author of Pure, hailed as 'excellent', 'gripping', 'as suspenseful as any thriller', 'engrossing', 'moving' and 'magnificent'.
One rainswept winter's night in 1809, an unconscious man is carried into a house in Somerset. He is Captain John Lacroix, home from Britain's disastrous campaign against Napoleon's forces in Spain.
Gradually Lacroix recovers his health, but not his peace of mind. He will not - cannot - talk about the war or face the memory of what took place on the retreat to Corunna. After the command comes to return to his regiment, he lights out instead for the Hebrides, unaware that he has far worse to fear than being dragged back to the army: a vicious English corporal and a Spanish officer with secret orders are on his trail.
In luminous prose, Miller portrays a man shattered by what he has witnessed, on a journey that leads to unexpected friendships, even to love. But as the short northern summer reaches its zenith, the shadow of the enemy is creeping closer. Freedom, for John Lacroix, will come at a high price. Taut with suspense, this is an enthralling, deeply involving novel by one of Britain's most acclaimed writers.
'His writing suspends life until it is read and is a source of wonder and delight' Hilary Mantel on Casanova in the Sunday Times
Too Much Lip
Author: Melissa Lucashenko
Wednesday 26th June 2019, 7pm BOOKINGS OPEN END MAY
Thursday 27th June 2019. 7pm BOOKINGS OPEN END MAY
NOTES: A dark and funny new novel from the multi-award-winning author of Mullumbimby.
Too much lip, her old problem from way back. And the older she got, the harder it seemed to get to swallow her opinions. The avalanche of bullshit in the world would drown her if she let it; the least she could do was raise her voice in anger.
Wise-cracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things - her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she's an inch away from the lockup, so she heads south on a stolen Harley.
Kerry plans to spend twenty-four hours, tops, over the border. She quickly discovers, though, that Bundjalung country has a funny way of grabbing on to people. Old family wounds open as the Salters fight to stop the development of their beloved river. And the unexpected arrival on the scene of a good-looking dugai fella intent on loving her up only adds more trouble - but then trouble is Kerry's middle name.
Gritty and darkly hilarious, Too Much Lip offers redemption and forgiveness where none seems possible.
Machines Like Me
Author: Ian McEwan
Tuesday 23rd July 2019, 7pm BOOKINGS OPEN END JUNE
Wednesday 24th July 2019, 7pm BOOKINGS OPEN END JUNE
NOTES: The new novel from the master storyteller is his best in years. Brilliantly McEwan, richly entertaining, a moving love story and a mystery--yet for all its gripping plotline one of the most morally layered novels written for our times, as it carries us into a provocatively real alternative history and the profound challenges of Artificial Intelligence.
Set in 1980s London, the story revolves around Charlie: young and reckless, and in love with his upstairs neighbour, the enchanting Miranda whose hidden, murky past hangs between them. He has spent his inheritance on the acquisition of one of twenty-four highly developed new robotic humans--named Adam or Eve, each one beautiful, strong and clever--developed by Alan Turing after his success on the legendary WW2 Enigma codebreaking machine.
As London is consumed by the huge protests over England and Argentina's Falklands War and Margaret Thatcher's jingoistic ambitions, Charlie courts Miranda, and his Adam finds himself, inevitably, central to their affair.
Great novelist that he is, McEwan pulls us into the question of what it means to love, what makes us human in our fast-changing times, what might follow if a machine understands too well the human heart, and how precarious a construct is the world we live in and think we know..