A bit about the book….
This book featured a woman with the name Marvellous Ways, and a young name called Francis Drake.
The plot unfolds mainly in Cornwall, with some parts in London and other parts in France and Germany during the Second World War.
What we thought……
In general, the book was well received, although not by everyone. The relationships are between a relatively small number of people, and one member observed it was hard to know who was who.
There was heavy emphasis on old Cornish ways, and references to old beliefs and customs.
The trauma of war had damaged Francis Drake, who was attempting to escape from his experiences by handing over a letter from a young dead soldier destined for his father. By chance, he meets Marvellous, and the tale centres on the relationship between them.
Parts of the book were found to be quite painful for some members, especially the scene where the young man acknowledges his imminent departure from the world. Certain images were troubling, such as the fact that Francis Drake deals with being fatherless by carrying round an image of how he imagined his father to have been.
The book scored highly, with an average score of 8/10
Next month we will be reading:
The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked out streets, illicit liaisons, sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch is the work of a truly brilliant and compelling storyteller.
This is the story of four Londoners – three women and a young man with a past, drawn with absolute truth and intimacy. Kay, who drove an ambulance during the war and lived life at full throttle, now dresses in mannish clothes and wanders the streets with a restless hunger, searching. Helen, clever, sweet, much-loved, harbours a painful secret. Viv, glamour girl, is stubbornly, even foolishly loyal, to her soldier lover. Duncan, an apparent innocent, has had his own demons to fight during the war. Their lives and their secrets connect in sometimes startling ways. War leads to strange alliances…
Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
In the far distant future, the country laid waste by nuclear holocaust, twelve-year-old Riddley Walker tells his story in a language as fractured as the world in which he lives. As Riddley steps outside the confines of his small world, he finds himself caught up in intrigue and a frantic quest for power, desperately trying to make sense of things.
Other business ….
Derby Book Festival has returned for another fantastic festival of events, if you love books then there is sure to be something for you - check out what is on offer on the Derby Book Festival Website.
Upcoming Highlights include:
- The Trouble with Goats and Sheep author Joanna Cannon at Déda on Friday 10 June
- Books and the Arts – Why They Matter; A Celebration in the Cathedral with James Naughtie and Sir Peter Bazalgette on Friday 10 June
Reading for July 28th
We only have one book chosen for July, so please feel free to send your suggestions.
The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham
Based on the life of Paul Gauguin, The Moon and Sixpence is W. Somerset Maugham's ode to the powerful forces behind creative genius.
Charles Strickland is a staid banker, a man of wealth and privilege. He is also a man possessed of an unquenchable desire to create art. As Strickland pursues his artistic vision, he leaves London for Paris and Tahiti, and in his quest makes sacrifices that leaves the lives of those closest to him in tatters. Through Maugham's sympathetic eye Strickland's tortured and cruel soul becomes a symbol of the blessing and the curse of transcendent artistic genius, and the cost in human lives it sometimes demands.