IN­SIDE BOOK CLUBS

THEY START WITH BOOKS BUT THEIR MEM­BERS OF­TEN GO ON TO SHARE SO MUCH MORE. ANNA MOORE HEARS THE STO­RIES BE­HIND FIVE VERY DIF­FER­ENT CLUBS

Woman & Home - - Contents -

THE STO­RIES

BE­HIND FIVE GROUPS OF WOMEN WHO MEET TO TALK ABOUT THE LAT­EST READS

THE GUERNSEY BOOK CLUB STARTED IN 2010, HAS 12 MEM­BERS AND MEETS ONE WED­NES­DAY LUNCHTIME A MONTH.

LIZ STORER, 47, A FULL-TIME MOTHER OF THREE, WANTED A WOMAN’S GROUP THAT FO­CUSED ON BOOKS, NOT BOOZING AND SO­CIAL CHAT. WORD WENT OUT, FRIENDS AND FRIENDS OF FRIENDS GATH­ERED. RULES WERE SET: TALK WOULD BE ABOUT BOOKS – AND WHAT WAS SAID IN BOOK CLUB, STAYED IN BOOK CLUB. “BOOKS CAN STIR UP TEARS AND EMO­TION, SO WE WANTED A SAFE, PRI­VATE SPACE,” SAYS LIZ. MEM­BERS TAKE TURNS TO HOST, MAYBE AT HOME OR BOOK­ING A QUIET COR­NER OF A RESTAU­RANT, OR EVEN ON A BOAT BOBBING ON THE HAR­BOUR. EVERY­ONE BRINGS A MIN­I­MUM £5 TO EACH MEET­ING THAT IS DO­NATED TO CHAR­ITY, AND THOU­SANDS HAVE BEEN RAISED FOR CAUSES SUCH AS GUERNSEY’S CHIL­DREN’S LI­BRARY, PARK PLAYGROUNDS

AND A PRE­MA­TURE BABY FOUN­DA­TION. CHOOS­ING THE BOOKS? “EVERY­ONE WHO WANTS TO SUG­GEST A BOOK DRAWS TO­GETHER A BRIEF SYNOPSIS AND TRIES TO SELL IT TO THE REST OF US, THEN WE VOTE BY A SHOW OF HANDS. IF YOU DON’T GET YOUR BOOK THROUGH, YOU CAN KEEP TRY­ING. ONE LADY TRIED FOR FIVE YEARS TO GET US TO VOTE FOR When God was a Rab­bit BY SARAH WINMAN – WHICH WE LOVED WHEN WE FI­NALLY DID!”

HIGH­LIGHT? “SOME­TIMES PEO­PLE HAVE PICKED UP ON THE THEME IN

A BOOK. WHEN WE DID The Trou­ble with Goats and Sheep, SET IN 1970S, THE HOST DID THE WHOLE SPREAD – BABYCHAM, ADVOCAAT, CHEESE AND PINEAP­PLE ON STICKS! BUT THE REAL HIGH­LIGHTS ARE THE IN-DEPTH DIS­CUS­SIONS – MORAL, HIS­TOR­I­CAL, PER­SONAL – THAT SPRING UP EV­ERY TIME.”

A BOOK THAT BROKE YOU? “Tampa BY ALISSA NUTTING, ABOUT A FE­MALE TEACHER IN FLORIDA WHO GROOMS HER 14-YEAR-OLD PUPIL. PAINFUL AND HORRIFIC, ES­PE­CIALLY AS WE’RE ALL MUMS, SO WE HAD MEM­BERS RE­FUS­ING TO READ IT OR BE­ING UN­ABLE TO FIN­ISH. NOW WHEN THINGS GET HEATED BE­TWEEN US, WE CALL IT AN­OTHER ‘TAMPA MO­MENT’.”

LIZ STORER, RIGHT, WITH MEM­BER CATHY PERKINS

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