2019 Book Group News
Hello and welcome to the Book Group Page
If you are interested in reading and discussing books, please do come along to our book group. We do ask that if you are going to come along you really should have read the book.
The De Beauvoir WI Book Group
We meet once a month and discuss the book we chose between us at the previous meeting. We try not to stick to a particular genre or type, and suggestions from all members are welcome – and more importantly – acted upon.
For our August meeting we have chosen A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.
And quoting Amor Towles web site, “Amor Towles’s breakout debut novel, Rules of Civility, established him as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction, bringing late 1930s Manhattan to life with splendid atmosphere and a flowless command of style. Readers and critics were enchanted – Towles writes with grace and verve about the mores and manners of a society on the cusp of radical change.
“A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
“Brimming with humour, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavour to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.”
It is 462 pages long, which breaks our policy of short books for busy women, but it bowls along, so I hope you will feel able to give it a go.
We are meeting at the de Beauvoir Arms, Southgate Road, at 8 o’clock on Tuesday 20th August. If you would like to come along, please do – we’ll have a copy of the book on the table. Or email us beforehand.
You really should have read the book.
If you have any questions please do contact us through the De Beauvoir WI email and one of us will get back to you.
And do bring along your own recommendations for future reads for the group. It should be out in paperback, you shouldn’t have read it already and if you want to come to the meeting, you really should read the book we chose.
Some of our 2018 reads
Jagua Nana by Cyprion Edwensi. This was republished in 1975 as part of the Heinemann African Writers Series. Although Edwensi has been compared to Dickens, the book was not a richly textured interweaving of many stories and it got a thumbs down from us, mainly for its two dimensional depiction of its main character – and the other characters too. And far too many mentions of buttocks.
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, which is a loose contemporary reworking of Sophocles’ Antigone, without the incest. Sophocles’ simplest message was that older generations do not always know better than their children and that natural law is more important than man-made law. It has had excellent reviews … “elegant and evocative prose” and “pulls off a fine balancing act; it is a powerful exploration of the clash between society family and faith in the modern world, whilst acknowledging the same dilemma in the ancient one”. It was shortlisted for the Costa Best Novel Award last year.