Welcome to the latest update from YCAA Book Club Co-ordinator Elaine!
Book One: ‘Ladder to the Sky’ by John Boyne
This month, our first book; ‘Ladder to the Sky’ introduced us to the most despicable main character any of the group could recall. Maurice Swift did not improve as he went through life and Tracey felt that this was a weakness in the plot as “characters shouldn’t be static but develop with the story”. For those members of the group who like to empathise with the personalities in a novel, this was a difficult read, but as a story in itself, it is a wonderful idea brilliantly executed. Almost everyone expressed the wish to read more books by John Boyne who has ’The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas’, ’The Hearts Invisible Furies’ and ‘A Traveller at The Gates of Wisdom’ to his credit.
Book Two: ‘The Exiles Return’ by Elisabeth de Waal
We chose to read Elisabeth de Waal’s ‘The Exiles Return‘ after reading the excellent ‘The Hare with the Amber Eyes’ by her grandson, Edmund de Waal, which depicts the lead up to the annexation of Austria at the beginning of WW2. Published for the first time after the success of his book, ‘The Exiles Return’ takes us to the end of that war and the return by some to discover a world totally changed and those who had lived through the experience in Vienna altered beyond the exile’s understanding. This was summed up by a quote from Heraclitus; “No man ever steps into the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he is not the same man”. This little novel speaks volumes to all of us going through such a period of change in our own times. Many of us read the edition from the publisher Persephone Books, who present their books so beautifully with period endpapers and bookmarks making the reading of early 20th century women authors an added joy.
Coming Next Month
Next month the group will be reading:
We look forward to seeing you next month!