Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Book Group Report - 6

Do you have any idea how many book groups call themselves "The Eclectic Book Group"?  Lots and lots of them.  As such, I need to start calling my book group something else.  We don't call ourselves anything, other than "book group".  I will try to come up with something clever, but in the meantime, I think it will just have to be "my book group" that I talk about.

Any how, my book group met tonight to discuss The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters.  As you know, I really liked this book, and I have tried not to give away any plot twists while blogging about it.  We had 10 people here tonight, and all but one had read at least part of the book.  Two people were about half way through, and seven of us finished it.

The consensus was that The Little Stranger was a great book.  A few people found it too frightening to read at night, but others read the whole book through wondering when the scary part was going to come.  A primary point that we discussed was why the strange events started occurring.  Did Dr. Faraday's appearance trigger them?  Was it bringing Betty in?  We couldn't decide, but felt that it was one or the other.  The cause of the final tragedy in the story (which I don't want to give away) was also a hot topic.  We were equally divided between whether its cause was human or of another world.  We also discussed the ages of the characters, as the setting and their mannerisms aged them much beyond their years, in a way that was clearly intentional.  We are all in our forties, and reading the descriptions of Mrs. Ayers as a decrepit old woman, even though she was not yet fifty, caused some reflection on how (we hope) we seem a lot younger than her. 

Most of us really liked the descriptions of the house, and I have to say that my fellow book clubbers also heart crumbling estates.  My copy of The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield went home with one member, and my guess is that others will borrow it later.

Next up:  The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas.  This book came out in 1996, and I have a vague sense that I read it around that time.  I guess I'll find out how familiar it is as I read it next month.

Still reading:  Sunnyside by Glen David Gold

Still listening to:  Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

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