Our last meeting together as a group was a year ago on 25th February and we had a good time over tea and cakes discussing the wonderful Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I was able to give out the next month's book Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella, I don't think any one of us had any thoughts that this was the last time we would be able to meet up again till when?? And that there would be no more books as the library closed until it opened up in a very different format in the Summer when lockdown restrictions had lessened somewhat.
Over the last year we have kept in touch by email and occasional phone calls; the meetings in gardens or indoors in small numbers when finally allowed not being practicable for our large(ish) group. However group members were able to collect and return the books on our list to the library lobby each month. A big thankyou to all of the group members for their continuing commitment to our group and their enthusiasm in reviewing the books each month.
Below are the books we have read recently together with some of the comments members sent me.
August - Joanna Trollope - City of Friends
Mixed reactions to this one, some loved it, some thought the friends were not very nice people to know!
September - David Jason - Only Fools and Stories
As you would guess, a commentary on the TV series and a reminder of some of the best bits we watched many moons ago.
October - Ann Leary - The Children
An American family saga found to be quite confusing but not too difficult a read. Not to everyone’s taste but as one person commented ‘it passed some time in lockdown’
November - Robert Harris - Munich
Very strong historical story line, based on events leading up to WW2, but a lot of military names, ranks and characters to keep track of. Not to everyone’s taste, but those who persevered found it a compelling and engrossing read.
December - Ella Griffiths - The House at Sea's End
Unanimously enjoyed, and although a murder mystery it was much light relief after Munich. Everyone wanted to read more by this author
January - Dan Brown - Origins
Very good story telling and compelling storyline. As usual with Dan Brown, there was lots of well researched factual details to augment the plot.
I hope this gives you an idea of what a reading group gets up to in lockdown.
Finally, we would like to add a big thankyou to all of the staff at the library who are always there to greet us with a friendly smile and are doing a great job in very difficult circumstances. Also a big thankyou to Matthew, the reading group co-ordinator, for keeping us supplied with books.
This is an article published in the Spring 2021 edition of the Hayling Island u3a newsletter