We had a great meetup this week when we discussed the Man Booker Shortlist Book Harvest by Jim Crace.
I loved it and found it a quick enjoyable read. It is a story of seven days in the life of a pre industrial revolution isolated village in Middle England. The narrator is one of the characters and he takes us through the changes that occur as a result of unlucky events, the arrival of newcomers and changes in ownership of the landed gentry.
It is so well written that I was transported back in time to the idyllic setting.
It's central themes are the nature of belonging ( when are you no longer a newcomer but fully belong), loyalty, self identity and the restrictions of class in society. It was a good vehicle to also explore interdependence and the necessity ( or not ) of being a member of a community.
Not all members enjoyed it - some couldnt get past the first 100 pages due to the slower pace. Some had read that it contained some gore and was a quite violent novel so were disappointed by it's relative mildness.
I would recommend it.
We then voted for the next book:
Hannah - White Teeth by Zadie Smith ( 1 )
The winner was:
Sam - The Wife by Meg Wolitzer ( 10 )
Below is a synopsis from Waterstones:
"A husband. A wife. A secret. Joe and Joan Castleman are on route to Helsinki, Joe is thinking about the prestigious literary prize he will receive and Joan is plotting how to leave him. For too long Joan has played the role of supportive wife, turning a blind eye to his misdemeanours, subjugating her own talents and quietly being the keystone of his success. The Wife is an acerbic and astonishing take on a marriage from its public face to the private world behind closed doors. Wolitzer has masterfully created an expose of lives lived in partnership and the truth that behind the compromises, dedication and promise inherent in marriage there so often lies a secret..."
I'm really looking forward to reading this.
See you then,