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Book review: This is going to hurt

Whilst some found Adam Kay’s brand of humour ‘laugh out loud’ it was not for all – one or two felt uncomfortable with some of the patient stories in ‘This is going to hurt’ – perhaps some shouldn’t have been shared. However we recognised that such ‘gallows’ humour helps folk to cope with the emotional […]

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A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol produced a lively and surprising amount of discussion given how well known the story is. We have all been exposed to film adaptations and these had influenced our images of the tale but there were still some elements that came as a surprise – Scrooge visiting coal miners and fishermen for example. […]

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Book review: – The Book Thief

The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel Meminger – a girl who is fostered by Hans and Rosa Hubermann in the fictional town of Molching on the outskirts of Munich during the war. The family are living in straitened circumstances not least because Hans is reluctant to join the Nazi Party and is seen […]

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Book review: Soul Music

Soul Music was definitely lighter than our recent reads, but turned out not to be everybody’s taste, common finding with humour. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series are well loved but as an introduction it was probably not the best choice. It is the sixteenth in the series and so if you have read the books in […]

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Book review: – The Invention of Wings

We all enjoyed ‘The Invention of Wings’ by Sue Monk Kidd. Set between Charleston, South Carolina and Philadelphia in the early 19th century it is a fictionalised account of the early life of Sarah Grimke, an abolitionist, writer, and member of the women’s suffrage movement. The book is told through two voices – Sarah herself […]

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Book Review: – Silencing Anna

Silencing Anna sparked a lot of discussion about domestic abuse which I suspect was Sadie Mitchell’s intention. The framing device of Anna in hospital in a locked in state, which was fascinating, hardly featured. The back story of Anna’s two major relationships – the almost ‘too good to be true’ time with Dylan followed by […]

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Book review: – The witchfinder’s sister

Beth Underdown has taken a real character from history – Matthew Hopkins – who was behind a surge in executions for witchcraft in Essex during the Civil War, and retold his story through the eyes of a fictional sister. In reality there is very little known about Hopkins as a private individual although there is […]

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Book Review: – The couple next door

We were all agreed that this book was a quick and easy read, a page turner – more than one of us had completed it in two days. However the general feeling was that the plot lacked credibility with poorly developed characters. With its basic premise of a baby being kidnapped whilst the parents are […]

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Book Review: – Gilead

Gilead takes the form of a long and rambling letter from an elderly preacher to his young son. John Ames is ailing and wants to leave a letter to his much beloved son whom he will not see become an adult. He hopes to guide his son but also to explain himself and where he has […]

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Book Review: – Inside the wave

We read a volume of poetry this month – a challenge for many of us (the last time I had seriously looked at poetry was school). Helen Dunmore died in 2017, and the collection was written through her last months and many of the poems are” concerned with the borderline between the living and the […]

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Book Review: – Tinker, tailor, soldier spy

First published in 1974 Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy is John Le Carre’s features George Smiley – a spymaster who has been forced to retire following the failure of an operation.  After evidence of a soviet mole is behind the failure of recent operations Smiley is asked to investigate in total secrecy since all senior Circus […]

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