I love my friends in my Wednesday book club; last night we met to discuss ‘The Corn Maiden and other Nightmares’ by Joyce Carol Oates, which I have previously mentioned. I didn’t like it at all; it was powerfully written, and well-written, but the style was not one I felt easy with, the subjects of the short stories were too disturbing and dark and I confess, I didn’t finish it.
On the way to book club, my friend Judith confided that she felt the same, but so often she and I don’t like the books we choose with high expectation of enjoyment, that we both thought we would have to try and find some positives… Not that our fellow book-clubbers would mind us having a negative opinion, just that we so often seem to have one of the books chosen!
We arrived at Sue’s and were welcomed in by her husband, marathon-running star Dave aka Alf Tupper (who has now raised over £1600 for MIND and Weston Hospicecare in the 2013 London Marathon) We were charged with glasses of wine and presented with nibbles and within a few minutes our fellow clubbers, Phil and Andrea joined us…
A typical book club: half an our (or so) catching up on each other’s news, more refreshments, another half an hour sharing what else we have been reading ( I mentioned the fantastic ‘House of Evidence’ by Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson) a few more nibbles, half an hour or so checking on what we were reading next time (Wuthering Heights – hurrah!) and planning our summer social event (Pimms and strawberries and a quiz) and then… a brief skirt round ‘The Corn Maiden’… Phil loved it and despite its dark subject matter (children torturing and killing children for example) was able to share what she found so good about it which was very interesting, Sue also saw a lot of merit in it, and Andrea, Judith and I kept our criticsm muted… not that we don’t like to offer our opinions, just that we don’t want to seem to criticise others’ opinions in what is really just an excuse for meeting friends….
An excuse for meeting friends… yes, that is what our book club is all about! So after a little more general gossiping about books, holiday plans, trips and visits, films, and plans to meet together one morning for coffee, it was time to leave. many hugs, much laughter, some wine, too many nibbles…. Books? That’s what our book club is all about!