Book Club Meeting # 5 – Lace by Shirley Conran

After a bit of a delay, we finally got back together for our book club meeting. It has been a little erratic so far and I think we have only had one meeting with all members in attendance! We had a plan to just always do it on the first Tuesday of the month but that hasn’t worked out. Next book club meeting will be on the 4th of December!

This month we had read Lace by Shirley Conran, recently reissued by Canongate Books on the 30th anniversary of its original release in 1982. None of us had heard of it before then (it does, after all, predate the birth of everyone in our book club…). Everyone seemed to love it, despite being put off a little by the gruesome first chapter. After that, it is well worth a read. We all agreed that it was scandalous and a little over the top but we liked the female characters and finding out about the calamities of their love lives.

It did bring to mind some of The Group by Mary McCarthy, the women, their love lives and careers but I enjoyed Lace far, far more – it makes The Group incredibly dreary in comparison!

I have given Lace to my mum to read – she read it years ago and wanted to read it again. And, she also pointed me in the direction of Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann which I am currently reading – again, some of it is a bit over the top but I am quite enjoying an easy read. I’ll let you know how I enjoy it in due course…

Next month’s book is We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.

Here’s the description from the publisher Serpent’s Tail.

‘Eva never really wanted to be a mother; certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher who tried to befriend him. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood and Kevin’s horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her absent husband, Franklyn. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.’

This book has been around for a while (it was originally published in 2003), well known since it won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2005. From the blurb it sounds like something Jodi Picoult would write about. I’ll admit that this book doesn’t immediately appeal to me but that’s the good thing about the book club – trying out new books that I wouldn’t have chosen myself.

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