Stiff Upper Lip of a Lady in Waiting
A record number of 13 ladies were confirmed to attend the January meeting and the huge table at Candy’s pool gazebo was set “round table” style. Apologies: Lyn and Natasha.
Big thanks to Candy for hosting and also for choosing our January book: “Lady in Waiting” by Anne Glenconner. The book was well received by most - in all its controversy it was a refreshing change to happy ending fiction stories and a good start for our 2021 season. The book club rated it 6.85/ 10.
While I have come across many interesting comments in the press, this one from Sydney Morning Herald, that Natasha sent to me, really nails it:
“rollicking....a fascinating anthropological portrait of the privileged soaked world of British aristocracy...it’s impossible not to marvel at the institution, both in admiration and horror”.
Understandably autobiographies may not be the most popular book club reads. More often than not they are too detailed and lack a plot to follow. “Lady in Waiting” sure did have many twists and turns to keep the reader entertained, however book club members did find it a little unstructured, relentlessly hopping here and there in place and time.
Barbara (7) though it was like “reading the People Magazine”. Jennifer (8,5) and Katie were happy with some “secret” information revealed about the aristocrats, and very true, there were several very intimate stories that we would never know about if Ann Glenconner had not recorded and shared them with us. Andrea (7) agreed that the author had “interesting life”. The discussion then shifted to “swingers” in Cayman. Yes, indeed. Sorry if you missed all the fun.
Ruth (6) read out aloud the rather disturbing “photo shoot” sequence and we discussed the discrimination of women issues in general. Lindsay (5) thought the book did not flow, but she did have loads of accurate British Law information and details of the recent changes in the crown succession. Candy (5,5), Ana (7) and I (7,5) admitted we not very keen following the royal family- but did remember the big buzz events starting with Lady Di wedding and then, sadly, her funeral .
We have had our fair share of Royal visits in Cayman, so maybe we totally should keep up to date with Charles and Camilla, William, Harry & co.
I’m sorry I didn’t catch all the interesting comments in the meeting, so busy even forgot to take our usual photo! - so I’ll end with a quote from Natasha’s (7) email:
“- I think she glossed over some of her tragedy with the classic stiff upper lip. I don’t know if she is capable of being brutally honest with herself let alone her readers. I can just imagine her saying ‘well that’s how it was’ and ‘there you have it’ -“
We then looked back to last year and shared memories of the books we read. The 2020 “winner” was “Once we were Yours” by Lisa Wingate, recommended by Chris Bellerose, who also kindly set us up our four meetings via Zoom during the lockdown . Viva Book Club!
You can find the complete 2020 book list with ratings in the end of this mail.
Our three newest members Ana, Katie and Marilyn were warmly welcomed and encouraged to come up with book suggestions, which they did on the spot. Thank you ladies for bringing new ideas to the club.
Barbara suggested that we start selecting the books by collecting members’ book nominations and voting for them. This is still under consideration and would take some time to get the lists out and votes in, but I do like the idea. Let me know what you think.
Most importantly Members expressed their concern about the rapidly growing numbers attending the Tuesday mornings and that it’s getting to be a difficult event to host at home for many. I don’t mind organizing a parallel evening club meeting at 6.30 pm on Thursdays following the regular Tuesday morning gathering. We definitely will do the evening if there is enough interest . This would be tapas and wine instead of coffee and cakes. I’m already excited!
So, anyone who would / could be interested in the evening book club, please, PLEASE , reply. There is no problem switching between Tuesdays and Thursdays club days either, the book is the same for both.
Which brings us to the reading list:
February 23 - 10 am.
The Bright Hour” by Nina Riggs - Elisabeth is hosting , 7 MB.
Evening meeting: Thursday 25 February, 6.30 pm, Camana Bay Area, place TBA
March: “10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World “ by Elik Shafak (recommended by Katie, seconded by Ana)
April: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (recommended by Jennifer)
With these news, and overwhelmed by greater than ever enthusiasm towards ILC book Club , I wish everyone happy February.
ILC book club coordinator
ILC Books 2020
January: To the Wedding by John Berger 6.8/10
February: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate 8.2/10
March: Educated by Tara Westover 8.0/ 10
April: China Dolls by Lisa See 6.8/10
May: the Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony 8.0/ 10
June: Mrs Gaskell and Me (aka. Victorians snd Romantics) by Nell Stevens 5.5/10
July: Dutch House by Ann Patchett 7.8/10
August: Mrs Everything by Jennifer Weiner 4.7/10
September: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout 5.3/10
October: The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes 7.5/10
November: Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin 7.7/10
December: Us Three by Ruth Jones 6.75/ 10