In December, Partick joined up with another book group. When we discovered that Anniesland and Partick groups were both reading The Help, we decided to meet up – and have a joint discussion over a cup of tea and a mince pie.
The Anniesland group is a sighted group and they had read the paperback, so there was some talk about the different experience of reading and listening – most of the sighted readers admitted to skipping the odd bit of description and we wondered whether listening might give a more complete experience. The Partick members explained how, for them, the narrator makes or breaks a book.
And what did we think of The Help? Here are some of the members’ comments:
“Painful to read”
“A bit simplistic in that they all lived happily ever after”
“Very well written – with a lightness of touch”
“Good to read the women’s point of view”
“Lots of layers in the book”
The Help turned out to be one of that small category of books: one that everyone enjoyed. When we wondered which other books found favour with the whole group, Anniesland suggested The Cellist of Sarajevo (Steven Galloway) while Partick came up with Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Big Country and The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox (Maggie O’Farrell).