The next LLC bookclub meeting is on
The October read is
Rachel Joyce is the author of the international bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. She is also the award-winning writer of more than twenty plays for BBC Radio 4. She started writing after a twenty-year acting career, in which she performed leading roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company and won multiple awards. Rachel Joyce lives with her family on a Gloucestershire farm.
Rachel Joyce's debut novel has taken a fairly simple narrative form, the allegory, and updated it. The journey of Christian through Vanity Fair and the Slough of Despond to the Celestial City was John Bunyan's genius creation, as his humble, everyman hero struggled on his way with his burden on his back. It was a religious tale, of course, full of symbolism. How does Joyce's modern take on it fare?
The withdrawal of religion from the lives of so many of us means a necessary change in our relationship with symbolism. It's no accident that Charlotte Brontë produced novels full of symbolism, being brought up in a religious household; the same could be said for Jeanette Winterson.
Our September book was the
Chalk Circle Man (L'Homme aux Cercles Bleus) by French writer, Fred Vargas and was the first in her Adamsberg detective series.
Jean Baptiste Adamsberg is an unusual detective, ponderous, quiet and enignmatic. Vargas's characters are slightly eccentric and her narrative style quirky. Not a pacy read but rather a black comedy.
The book group was divided in its opinion with some finding it frustrating and others finding it engaging. The different reactions invited a very lively discussion!
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Gers Ladies Lunch Club