A week earlier so it's not right before Easter. Books for discussion are:
Jack Maggs by Peter Carey
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Jack Maggs is a variation on Great Expectations, in which Dickens's tale is told from the viewpoint of Australian convict Abel Magwitch. A foundling trained in the art of thievery, Jack Maggs was betrayed and deported to Australia for life. But now, having reversed his fortunes, he seeks to fulfill his innermost desire. Returning to London under threat of execution, he's quickly embroiled in various entanglements among a handful of characters — each with their own secrets. And as their various schemes converge, the captivating figure at the epicentre is Maggs himself, at once frightening, mystifying, and utterly compelling.
The Remains of the Day: The novel's narrator, Stevens, is a perfect English butler who tries to give his narrow existence form and meaning through the self-effacing, almost mystical practice of his profession. In a career that spans the second World War, Stevens is oblivious of the real life that goes on around him -- oblivious, for instance, of the fact that his aristocrat employer is a Nazi sympathizer. Still, there are even larger matters at stake in this heartbreaking, pitch-perfect novel -- namely, Stevens' own ability to allow some bit of life-affirming love into his tightly repressed existence.