Burnham on Crouch


Status:Active, full but can join waiting list
Jacqui Cousins Tel: 07904 308483
Group email: Literary group
When: Monthly on Tuesday afternoons
2nd Tuesday of the month (no meeting in August)
Venue: Member's Home

The group members have a title to read each month, which is then discussed at the following meeting. The Group Leader compiles a list of titles based on members suggestions as well as Group Leader ideas. The library then gets these books in for us. The meetings are as much a social gathering as a discussion group.

Members take turns to host the meetings in their homes, providing refreshments.

March 2020

The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan
The book describes a period during the Second World War, from 26th March to 6th September 1940 when the effects of the war were beginning to bite.
Over the six months covered in the book, each person developed  in response to the difficulties they faced.  There was a strong sense of community and family.   The reader warmed to the two main Choir members, Mrs Tilling and Kitty, and it is mainly through their contribution that the sense of duty and strength in the face of adversity threaded its way throughout the narrative.
The authoress introduced the main characters through their diaries or letters.   While this method gave a close up of events from each person’s point of view, it resulted in the characters being slightly two dimensional and their opinions a bit predictable.  Saying that, they are endearing.
The ending was a happy one, and that rather let down the book. The story was complicated and believable to a point, but it was hard to swallow that everyone’s future definitely had a silver lining.
-Jacqui Cousins

June 2018

In June we read “The Seven Sisters,” by Lucinda Riley. It is a love story that begins in the present day, goes back to the early 20th Century, and then returns to the 21st century. The heroine is a young woman called Maia who had a very odd upbringing on an island in Lake Geneva. When her billionaire adoptive father dies he leaves her clues about her identity which take her to Brazil. In Rio she meets and falls in love with a young author whose book she has translated and discovers she is connected to a Brazilian society beauty and an artist who worked on the statue of Christ the Redeemer at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Our group thought the most compelling part of the true story is the account of how the statue was erected in Rio de Janeiro in 1931. It is 30m tall and dominates the Rio skyline. It is an engineering masterpiece and was a focal point of the 2016 Olympics. We all found the story of how the statue was created, transported and erected,  fascinating. The book is the first of a series of seven. Each sister is named after one of the stars in the constellation Pleiades, the seven daughters of Atlas who were turned into stars according to Greek mythology.
The group agreed it was a great beach-read and some members are looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
-Sheila Nicholson

August 2014

At 784 pages in a 2 ½ inch thick book our latest ‘read’ was certainly a tome. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt centres around Theo Decker who is on a trip to the Museum of Art in New York with his mother. She had been showing him a favourite painting of hers, ‘The Goldfinch’ by Carel Fabritius. The 13 year old’s world is turned upside down when a terrorist bomb goes off, killing his mother. Theo stumbles from the wreckage clutching the painting. For the next 14 years it becomes both a burden and his only connection to his mother. The story takes Theo from New York to Las Vegas to Amsterdam and back to New York. Along the way he encounters some very interesting and dubious characters.
It is certainly not a book that can be easily summarised, and we would have liked more of a definite ending. This book is certainly one of the longest we have had. If would be interesting to hear what the other book groups think of it if they read it.