Friday, 29 October 2010

A new chapter as the book club begins

The rooks are doing merry dive-bombing dances in the fields, catching a thermal here, taking it to the next level and then spiralling downwards. The trees are red and orange and yellow and green, orange and purple and brown. Crab apples underfoot, a perfect imprint of a sycamore leaf on the bonnet of my car and pink-tinged clouds at sunset.

Later, I venture from the house and make my way to Mrs Putter's for the first meeting of our new book club, with six hand-picked handmaidens as members. I call in at Mrs Bancroft's but there is no-one at home. I peer through the letterbox to see a pair of pumps at the foot of the stairs. But there is no sign of their owner. Has she spontaneously combusted?

I venture on, hoping to meet Pelly at the end of her lane, because I have forgotten my torch. Living in the floodlit square, I forget how wonderfully dark it is on the village's edges. As I tiptoe past Bellow Packman's so as not to wake the goats, a security light goes on and I feel like an escaped prisoner exposed for all to see.

At the Putters, Mrs Bancroft and Mrs Champagne-Charlie have already arrived, closely followed by Pelly and Darling Loggins. We sit around the table, scoffing roasted vegetable lasagne and copious glasses of wine. We dip our toes in the literary water and make candid confessions about what we like to read. I throw in a few worthy titles, like The Odyssey and Zorba the Greek, and when jaws drop to the floor I realise I can get away with saying Patricia Cornwell if I want to.
The breadth of the book club's reading experience is impressive. I keep quiet about the Jilly Cooper. We cut up Richard and Judy's reading list and pull out Sister by Rosamund Lupton from the hat. Our November choice is made, and it will be followed in December by Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres.

That's as far as our list goes, although our July choice is mapped out. We're going for The Mistress of Nothing, by Kate Pullinger, and will have a Skype meeting to discuss it with my blogging pal, Pondside, and her five book club friends in Vancouver Island.

After supper and warm hugs we head down the road, the night plucking us off one-by-one like something from an Agatha Christie novel.

Up at the pub, The Enchanted Village's Gentlemen's Club, comprising absent husbands, is having its inaugural meeting around the billiard table.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. Way to go! We're all feeling very smug over here about our book club. Every time two of us meet we congratulate one another on having organised the best sort of book club. You do supper? Hmmmm I like that. We do dessert tea/coffee wine.

  2. 'Sister' has been serialised on Radio 4's Book at Bedtime recently. Did you hear it? Sounded great.


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