The Book Group meets on the first Tuesday of the month to discuss a chosen book.

Please remember if you can't make it along to Gateway but still want to join in with the book club you
can leave your thoughts on our current read at and we'll include them in our discussion.


We are reading The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett and will be discussing it on Tuesday 10th May at 10.30. A short book for a change and a true story which has recently been made into a film. It is a book which has many interesting discussion points especially how did Alan Bennett cope with someone living in his driveway for so many years!










Last month's(April) book Gone by Mo Hayden had mixed reviews. Some found it quite enthralling while several wondered if it had been written with the idea of making it into a film or as a screenplay which had been turned into a book.  They found the story good, the characters fairly well drawn but could almost here"Cut" being called and moving on to the next scene.


For our meeting on 8th March at 10.30 we are reading Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna.  The story starts in 1878 in Southern India when a friendship between a young girl and boy is changed by one decision and effects echo down the generations to come.


For our meeting on 1st December at 10.30 we are reading The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse. Is a story set in France after the First World War.  Freddie Watson is seeking some resolution after the loss of his brother and after a car accident during a storm he finds himself in an isolated village where a woman helps him find answers.
This is the first book we have taken from the library's list for book groups for which they hold multiple copies . All copies must be back on the 1st December but if you cannot attend can you please return them to Betty Terris before that date.
Our next book will also be taken from the library's list and is by Alexander McCall Smith.


The book for November was MISS Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson and taken on face value it is a type of Cinderella tale but when we looked more closely it reveals much about the time in which the story was set. Miss Pettigrew is a distressed gentle woman , failed governess and almost penniless in The 1930's. When she is sent to the wrong interview she meets characters and situations which she has never seen before. Fast ladies, slick men and sleezy nightclubs. will Miss Pettigrew sink or swim?
We all throughly enjoyed the book and hope you will be tempted to read it too.

In June we read How Many Camels Are There in Holland by Phyllida Law. It is a very funny, moving story of living and caring for a parent with dementia.  This little book is neither gloomy or morbid as the writer has a clear descriptive style full of humour as she describes daily life as a carer but also fitting in her career as an actress on both stage and film.  Many people know her better as the mother of the actresses Emma and Sophie Thompson but she is also a fine actress in her own right.  
We all loved this book.  We enjoyed the style and clarity of the story and the charming little water colour sketches, also done by the author, which are sprinkled through the book adding a little to the story at that point. This is a book that you could devour in one go but don't rush and miss the excellent detail which give this book it's character.

There is no Book Group until Gateway reopens on 8th September and we'll start back the first day at 10.30.  Just to keep you going over the summer months we have a selection of books this month. You can read just one or you can read them all as we've tried to have something for everyone.

Miss Pettigrew lives for a day by Winifred Watson . - This story takes place over 24 hours as Miss Pettigrew, a distressed gentlewoman and failed governess, is pulled into an entirely new world of sophisticated London nightlife.

Two books with the same characters but different authors.  
Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers - this is the book when Sayers' detectives Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane marry but the honeymoon gets off to a rocky start when they arrive at their new house.
The Late Scholar by Jill Paton Walsh - When Dorothy Sayers died she left an unfinished novel continuing the investigations of Peter and Harriet .  The trustees of Dorothy Sayers approached Jill Paton Walsh and asked her to finish the novel which she did very successfully. She has continued the series and this is the fourth novel which is set in an Oxford college.

The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey - Why did the 9th Duke of Rutland spend the last few months of his life burning papers in the servants quarters of his home?  Why did he order his son to seal the rooms on his death? They stayed untouched for 60 years until an author researching an entirely different book finds a mystery worthy of a novel.

Have a great summer and enjoy your reading.


April Review - The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson
We had a very lively discussion about this book and nearly all agreed that it had a very slow start but as it became more intriguing the pace of the book picked up until by the end it was racing along.  The descriptions of Paris were excellent picking up on the details of the lowest areas to the fashionable salons. The problems of women who wished to become artists were well observed as were the different social backgrounds of the women and their developing relationships. We won't give away the twisting plot in case you would like to read this book but have to finish by saying that the ending which takes place during the flooding if Paris is excellent.


Some of the books already discussed