Sadly, a small meeting yesterday. Five of us braved the terrible winds to meet in the cosy Dapto library and discuss Colleen McCullough’s last book ‘Bittersweet’.

Three of us five were happily revisiting this book, having read it when it was first released in 2013. Everyone at the meeting had previously read McCullough’s famous story ‘The Thornbirds’ and felt that Bittersweet was almost an homage to it.

It was agreed that the story was at first difficult to get into. It seemed a little clunky. But we quickly realised that this technique served to teach us more about the four sisters – Edda, Grace, Tufts and Kitty, who were in themselves a little flighty and clunky.

We spoke a lot about the politics of the time, how it was unusual for the women to become career oriented, and about the incredible stress of job losses during the depression era. We felt that these issues are surprisingly still occurring today, and in rural areas this can be incredibly dangerous due to isolation and lack of support.

Considering the book seemed like a somewhat straightforward rural romance, it contained a great number of twists and turns that kept us guessing right up until the end. I was quite surprised by how animated the discussion became – eloping, suicide, depression, domestic abuse – you name it, we talked about it.

One sad moment – none of the members were aware that McCullough had passed away in 2015, and we were disappointed to realise that there would never be another McCullough saga to look forward to.

Overall the book recieved an outstanding rating – 4.5/5.

 

Next month we will be going on an adventure, as we discuss Cheryl Strayed’s autobiographical account of her incredible hike on the Pacific Crest Trail.

 

wild

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything.
In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.
Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her
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