A road trip tale in which Nancy Skidmore, who has Alzheimers is rescued by her friend Eugene Chaney lll, from the care home in which she has been placed. He fulfils the promise he made years before to help her die before her condition becomes unmanageable. This involves a road trip with a collection of different characters. Thoughts about this book were fairly unanimous. It was a ‘wordy’ read that at first didn’t seem to be going anywhere but as the story developed and the characters were drawn together, it improved. There were funny parts and a good build up of tension. Relationships and characters were described in minute detail but name changes caused confusion. It provided a window into the fear in which black people lived in the southern states, the intrigue involved in trying remain invisible from the CIA and the downward spiral of living with Alzheimers. Scoring the book was surprisingly varied, from four to eight out of ten. Tea and biscuits anyone?
Some of us thought this was a provoking book – easy to read, but difficult to read and understand at times. Most of us gave it an above average score. It called for a rather lively discusssion.
Our next book will be the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
Report by Linda Sheasby
The novel by Elizabeth Buchan, an American author is about the resistance movement in Denmark during the Second World War.
The owner of a large estate, Bror, collaborated with the German occupation to protect his family and estate. His English wife, Kay feels her country needs her support when the resistance movement contacts her for help and in spite of concerns for the safety of her son and daughter gives shelter to the resistance on the run from the enemy.
The story is well written and well researched especially the secret communication section in Britain. You realise how the agents and the women taking and receiving the morse code messages had a special relationship with each other and how the loss of an agent affected them.
There was tension in the story and a very dramatic and surprising ending. I would have liked to have known more about what happened next.
The group as a whole enjoyed reading this book and gave it a mark of 7.5 out of 10.
Report by Sylvia Burrows
Human Traces begins in 1876 when we are introduced to the two central characters as teenagers. Jacques Rebiere is the son of a Breton forester and dreams of acquiring an education to cure his older brother Olivier who is a madman and is kept in the stables shackled to a wall.
Thomas Midwinter is a young Englishman who has a lifelong ambition to work “with the mind”. They meet in France – both medical students and become lifelong friends pledging to work together to unearth the workings of the mind.
The story spans several decades and continents and describes the evolving world of physiology and how patients are treated according to their social standing and symptoms.
Human Traces scored 8.75
Report by Claire Lampough
Creekside Book Club Meeting
Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier
This book depicts life in the late 18 century in Dorset and London. A family moves from rural Dorset to the outskirts London to rent rooms next door to William Blake, printer, poet and visionary. In a nearby field is the winter home of a famous traveling circus. Both of these form the story of Burning Bright.
We see poverty, orphans, prostitutes, murder, rape and factories where women were harmed by chemicals . We see the opposite side with beautiful clothes and possessions. We also saw the results of the French Revolution on some the British people and so much more.
I found the description of chair making (the fathers skill) and the button making and designs which the country family passed on to their neighbours fascinating.
The group on the whole found it interesting and well written.
We braved a freezing cold evening to discuss Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This is a book we all enjoyed and agreed was a good read. Even though two of us hadn’t finished the book in time and the point was made that the language sometimes slowed the telling of the story. We discussed Mr Rochester’s attitude to the women in his life, the effect that Jane’s religious upbringing had on her life and the cruelty and hardship that had to be endured at that time. Refreshments lightened the mood and we rounded the evening off with a few good laughs one of which was a new porridge recipe involving alcohol…..!