We have been together now for some years, my friends and I in a book group started by me when Scout (now nearly 15) was about 3. I was fed up of reading the backs of cereal packets and not much else.I invited a few friends to see if anyone else was interested. Nearly everyone I asked was!
The group list comprises about 15 people – but fewer than 6 usually attend each meeting.There are various excuses and reasons. Many of us are going through the teenage years with our children. Some have moved away, but want to remain on the invite list, coming only for 3 or 4 meetings a year. Some have very busy jobs and find it very difficult to fit in reading time.
Every now and then a new member joins. Four meetings ago one such new member joined us. She hasn’t missed a meeting and has always read the book, and is just what we need… an injection of new enthusiasm.
The book tonight was John Updike’s ‘Run Rabbit’- a book written in 1959 and published in 1960, with follow-up books written at the end of the next two decades. I am tempted to go out and buy these straight away!
I loved reading this book… its style, its prose, its cleverness, its characterisation… I could go on and on. In its day it caused quite a stir, touching on sex, childbirth, male dominance and religion.
The meeting worked well: the book inspired discussion about characters, America, the American dream, religion, women’s role, the changes in women’s roles in family life, communication in families, or more accurately mis-communication, symbolism and metaphor and whether any of us has any empathy for the characters.
What other books, not necessarily current or prizewinning, would you suggest for our n ext few meetings that may encourage such a good discussion?