Our Book Club certainly does not shy away from difficult subjects. Our participants are adept at tackling a wide range of topics: ranging from trans rights and complex family relationships to tackling racism, a troubled upbringing and Asperger’s Syndrome.
Ann began with Tomorrow Will be Different by Sarah McBride, which dealt with the author’s fight for equality as a transgender person. As Ann explained, it gave an enlightening insight into the life of the first openly transgender state senator in US history.
Maggie is a huge fan of Jane Austen, so she was hugely enthusiastic about Miss Austen by Gill Hornby. Published in April of this year, and already a Sunday Times bestseller, it is based around a literary mystery – why did Jane’s sister Cassandra burn her letters to friends and family? Set in 1840, this is a wonderfully original, emotionally complex novel about the loves and lives of Cassandra and Jane Austen.
Jay Blades is best known as the cheeky, wisecracking presenter of BBC TV show, The Repair Shop. As Jennifer pointed out, his life and upbringing were far from easy. Making It is an honest and forthright account of a difficult upbringing in Hackney. Jay experienced racism, got into crime, but turned his life around to become a leading restorer. It’s the story of how love, kindness and community helped him turn his life around.
Jody Picoult is the author of 25 internationally bestselling novels. Celeste chose Jody’s 2010 novel House Rules, which focuses on Jacob Hunt, a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. Jacob is fascinated by crime scenes and is accused of murder in the US town of Townsend, Vermont. It’s an emotive story that is also about a mother’s fight to prove her son’s innocence.
The subjects may have been complex, but all the books discussed had an emotional resonance and the skilled descriptions of participants left us feeling curiously uplifted. Join us at next month’s book club and you might be surprised at how easy it is to talk about a book – it’s all about how it makes you feel…
The books discussed were: