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Toulouse Women's International Group


Next Reading Group Meeting

Venue: Anne Holden’s house in Pibrac

Date: Monday 6th May

Time: 2pm

Contact: Karen Burroughs or Joyce Booth

Details: The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Reading Group Review – The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

TWIG Reading Group April 2019

‘The Goldfinch’, the third book by Donna Tartt was enjoyed by everyone at this month’s book meeting. It begins in Amsterdam with Theo, the narrator of the story holed up in a hotel, the story then goes back in time to New York when Theo is 13yrs old.
He is in disgrace after being suspended from school and is on his way, with his mother to a meeting with the headmaster. Having time to kill they go into The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they are in separate rooms when a bomb explodes. The description of this horrific incident was incredibly vivid. ‘The Goldfinch’ of the title is in fact a real painting by Carel Fabritius, a student of Rembrandt.
Theo, in the nightmarish chaos of the aftermath of a bomb gives a dying man sips of water. The man gives him a ring and significantly an address. He then suggests to Theo that he takes the painting, which has been blown off the wall out of the museum. In a dreamlike state Theo takes the painting and walks through the streets of New York to his home to wait for his mother, who of course doesn’t come.
Since his father has deserted the family home Theo finds a type of sanctuary with a family of New York socialites. He is connected to them by a childhood friendship.
The father eventually turns up and the next part of the novel takes off in Las Vegas. Here he meets Boris at school. The description of this part of his life and his frantic drug fuelled friendship with Boris is reminiscent of Jack Kerouack’s classic book ‘On the Road’.
This is followed by another iconic image of America, a cross country journey in a Greyhound bus. So well described it was like being in the bus in the dark surrounded by the blackness of the desert.
He is back in New York and we are there with him, walking downtown to Greenwich Village and finally back to where the book begins Amsterdam and back to Boris.
We all felt that the characters were so well written it was difficult to forget them even when not reading the book. They were all so well rounded, flawed but real. Some of us felt that this is one of the best books we have read. The descriptions of New York, Las Vegas and it’s desert imprinted in our minds.

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.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman – 7th January 2019
Pachinko – Min Jin Lee – 4th February
The Woman in the Window – A. J. Finn – 4th March
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt – 1st April
The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris – 6th May
The History of Bees – Maja Lunde – 3rd June
This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay – 1st July
The Stolen Bicycle – Wu Ming-Mi
Everything’s Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow – Peter Hoeg
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte – 8th January 2018
Heartburn – Nora Ephron – 5th February
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle – David Wroblewski – 5th March
The Personal History of Rachel Dupree – Ann Weisgarber – 9th April
The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield – 7th May
The Underground Railway – Colson Whitehead – 4th June
The Keeper of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan – 2nd July
Dalva – Jim Harrison – 3rd September
Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – 1st October
How to Stop Time – Matt Haig - 5th November
Left Neglected – Lisa Genova – 10th December
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 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

For further information contact Karen Burroughs.