Stealing Roses by Heather Cooper
“Isle of Wight author, Heather Cooper, uses Cowes as a backdrop for her fictional work which explores Victorian photography and the rights of women.”
This book was largely enjoyed by the group, and its Isle of Wight setting certainly played a part in that.
Cooper’s book opens up some good discussions around the concept of freedom in the context of the 19th century, and the group enjoyed the journey of the main character, Evelyn.
We talked about some of the historical figures who had inspired Cooper such as Julia Margaret Cameron and the group enjoyed discussing historical Cowes.
The Parade by Dave Eggers
“An unnamed country is leaving the darkness of a decade at war, and to commemorate the armistice the government commissions a new road connecting two halves of the state. Two men, foreign contractors from the same company, are sent to finish the highway.”
The group really enjoyed this read and it sparked some lively discussion! The two main characters, who remain unnamed throughout the book, were considered at length with some book club members much preferring one over the other.
Eggers abstains from revealing too many details about the book’s setting and as such, it made the group really question their assumptions about foreign culture and politics.
You can grab yourself a copy here.
The Forest of Wool and Steel by Natsu Miyashita
“It was life-making. Tomura is startled by the hypnotic sound of a piano being tuned in his school. It seeps into his soul and transports him to the forests, dark and gleaming, that surround his beloved mountain village.”
Opinions on this book were mixed within the group, with some feeling the story didn’t really go anywhere. The majority of our discussion was around the protagonist, Tomura. The book is told from Tomura’s perspective and we talked about whether the author had intended to portray him as neurodiverse given the way he recalled events.
As the book is a translation, we considered the book in the context of other modern Japenese books that some members of the group had read.
We have copies of this book available here.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
“Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation – awkward but electrifying – something life-changing begins.”
Unfortunately, due to lockdown, the group were unable to meet to discuss Normal People. However, Katie has provided a review of Normal People here!
We’re looking forward to being able to meet again so we can discuss a book which has received rave reviews across the board.
You can grab yourself a copy of Normal People here.
Medina Book Club ordinarily meets on the fourth Monday of every month at 6pm. Unfortunately, we are unable to continue the book club during the lockdown, but we will be reinstating it as soon as it is safe to do so. For more information, or to ensure you are contacted when the book club starts again, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.