This month we read Joan London’s “Age of Reason”.
Apart from one of our members, who reported in that she didn’t like the book at all, there was a general consensus that it was an enjoyable, quiet and lyrical read that scored quite highly across the board with an average of 4/5.
One member also commented that it was the best discussion the group had ever had on any of the books they had read! Some of the responses include “different”, “lots of little stories”, “Frank was just not relatable” and everyone at the table agreed that Elsa had done the right thing and moved on with her life without Frank. She was able to leave the polio experience behind her.
The topic of polio had currency with members of the group who had all been affected in some way, either directly with family members having contracted the disease, or through immunisation. By contracting the disease it was as if the children became the adults and their parents became the children.
There were many other themes that came out of the book that enabled the discussion to flow. Parenting, war, refugees and the impact these have on the development of character or how character influences how you cope with these.
The main protagonist, Frank, was not widely liked but there was sympathy for him and his extended family in the Nazi’s holocaust. His situation prompted discussion about the possibility of suffering from PTSD and the plight of refugees both back during the world wars and today.
Overall a very lively, interesting and sharing discussion was had by all.
Next month we will be discussing the much hyped Elana Ferrante novel My Brilliant Friend .
A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors it is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship.