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Toulouse Women's International Group

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Next Reading Group Meeting


Venue: Joyce Booth’s house in Garies

Date: Monday 3rd July 2017

Time: 12 noon for a pot luck lunch / 2pm for discussion

Contact: Karen Burroughs or Joyce Booth

Details: The Light between the Oceans by M.L Steadman

Reading Group Review – Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Gildiner

TWIG Reading Group June 2017

This month’s discussion was about Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Gildiner. This is an account of a child’s experiences growing up in the town of Niagra Falls in the 1950s. The book starts with Catherine aged four and takes her through to early adolescence.

The book was loved by everyone that came to the meeting. We found it very touching, a real insight into small town America in the fifties and very humorous. The story is told through a child’s eyes which was the great appeal of the book. We loved how she saw things like television for the first time and how as a child she accepted good and bad situations without question or fear. Catherine was a very bold, energetic and inquisitive child who threw herself headlong into everything and said what she thought whether it was appropriate or not. This provided the reader with some extremely funny moments and we found the book to be a very happy read. She was also kind and very brave which was demonstrated when she wrote a piece for school on local heroes. This was a competition and she was very surprised when she didn’t win it. This idea was repeated later in the book in sport and it demonstrated what a confident person Catherine was. She wasn’t used to failing.

We loved her relationship with Roy who drove her father’s pharmacy delivery van. Catherine worked with him as a four year old when school couldn’t control her and they made a very good team. He could drive and she could read already. She was clearly a very precocious child who we suspect would be labelled as hyperactive in current times. Catherine’s mother was a very interesting character. She didn’t cook or do any normal domestic duties and so Catherine was very surprised when she visited a more traditional family but she had a happy childhood which came across in the book. Catherine had a very adult relationship with her parents and we thought that the unusual way she was brought up contributed to her being so forward.

We all agreed that this is a book we could happily read again and some of us would like to read the next two books that follow Catherine’s life story into adulthood. We did all agree that this first one stands out because of it’s portrayal of childhood innocence.

Reading Group

The Reading Group meets at member’s home on the first Monday of the month 2pm to 4pm to discuss and share opinions on a chosen book in a friendly social atmosphere over coffee and biscuits.

Find below some of the suggested books for our current reading list:

Reading Group Book List

This is the reading group’s current list of books that we plan to read and discuss at future meetings. The books are suggested by members and changes all the time as we regularly update it.

The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins – 11th January 2016
The Minituarist – Jessie Burton – 1st February
Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons – 7th March
The Aftermath – Rhidian Brook – 4th April
Notes from a Small Island – Bill Bryson – 2nd May
The Magpies – Mark Edwards – 6th June
The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion – 4th July
A Death in the Family – Karl Ove Knausgaard – 5th September
The Green Road – Anne Enright – 3rd October
Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain – 7th November
Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch – 12th December 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling – 9th January 2017
The Ginger Tree – Oswald Wynd – 6th February
An Utterly Impartial History of Britain – John O’Farrel – 6th March
Life After Life – Kate Atkinson – 3rd April
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher – Hilary Mantel – 24th April
Giving Up the Ghost – Hilary Mantel – 24th April
Too Close to the Falls – Catherine Gildiner – 29th May
Light between the Oceans – M.L Steadman – 3rd July
The Dressmaker – Birkelund Oberbuck – 4th September
The House by the Lake – Thomas Harding – 2nd October
Us – David Nicholls – 6th November
Bel Canto – Ann Pratchett – 4th December

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle – David Wroblewski
The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield
Utopia – Thomas More
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
The Little Prince ( Translations ) – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

For further information contact Karen Burroughs.