This month we discussed The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O’Donnell. This is O’Donnell’s second novel and was originally published in October 2018. It was a Guardian and Observer book of the year for 2018 and The Bookseller Editor’s Choice for October 2018.
The writer takes us to the dark and murky streets of London in the winter of 1893, where a seamstress arrives on a cold and snowy night to work at a residence in Mayfair. She is in great pain, yet her focus is clear and her intention is purposeful. When she plunges to her death from an upstairs window the drama unfolds taking us through twists and turns into the murky world of death and deception.
Whilst published reviews were effusive and flattering, the majority of our club readers were decidedly unimpressed with the novel. A few readers found it entertaining, enjoyable and engaging; an easy, light read. The majority found it lacked substance, depth, menace and the sophistication of other writers of this era. There was no real character development of the protagonists, the plot was straightforward and when revealed, it all seemed so silly.
Ratings: Claudia DNF; Gail, Sandy, Viv and Janet 2.5, Margie, Nicola and Lynda 2.
Our next meeting will be at Preece House on 8/06/20 at 6:30PM to discuss Outline by Rachel Cusk.
Hope to see you all there and happy reading!
We are a group that gets together once a month to discuss good books. Each of us gets to choose a book on a rotational basis, preferably one outside our personal comfort zone – we try to keep the trash to ourselves. After the discussion, we comment on other books we read that month. Most of the time we remain friends after the meeting.
We normally meet at the 1948 heritage Preece House, 50 Nerang St Bischof Pioneer Park, Nerang (next to 54 Nerang St. shops. This venue has no toilet but here’s one in the park) on the second Monday of every month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. excluding Public Holidays. A small contribution is required towards the rent of the room, but not if you are a first timer. The amount depends on the number of people attending.
One book title is chosen each month and we all read that book. There is a ‘host’ who introduces and co-ordinates the discussion. The role of host is rotated around the group so that each member has the opportunity to nominate their book (it could also be an author, theme or genre). The host also acts as chairperson for that meeting.
Although we are not a social club (we are readers), we occasionally attend literary events, relevant movies or plays here at the Gold Coast, Brisbane or Byron Bay. We conform to basic meeting practices and everyone has an equal opportunity to express their opinion. Everyone’s interpretation is valid, as long as it’s expressed respectfully.
We welcome any new members who share our aims and are happy to contribute to our group. Newcomers are not required to have read the book to attend the first meeting and no contribution is required from them.
Feel free to have a look at our Booklist for 2020 and Newsletters in the sidebar. If you are reading this blog in a mobile device, switch to desktop view.
We meet from 6:30 to 8:30 PM on the 2nd Monday of every month at the heritage listed Preece House located at Bischof Park
, Nerang Street (next corner White St), Nerang next door to shops at 54 Nerang Street. While the Covid19 restrictions are on, we will meet online. Please contact us for info on meetings that fall on Public Holidays.
For more information use the contact form.