Report on The Page Turners Meeting - Meeting, Thursday, 5 January 2017

For our first book review meeting, our group had read The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. As a new Reading Group, we had looked for inspiration for book titles from the longer standing book groups in the Sherburn U3A.

Our contribution to the review of this book concluded with the group giving an average score of 7. Though there were some significant variations in individual scores.

Our discussion was wide ranging taking in our concerns about the lives and conditions of black slaves in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The novel is based on archived material about the Grimke family, living in Charleston, South Carolina; who listed their slaves as “goods and chattels” in a legal inventory in 1819.

The novel explores the lives of the slaves matched chapter for chapter by a study of the lives of the Grimke family. There are descriptions of undeniable cruelty to the slaves and also the soul searching decisions made by two Grimke sisters that defied and shattered the conventions of the time.

Key leitmotifs that underscore the novel lend themselves to further research; the slave quilts that were made at the time and the growth of feminism at the time when the novel is set. On a more personal note we talked about the notion of courage in times of great difficulty and the modern day attitude to minority groups in America and England.

The book we are reading for our February meeting is Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller. If you want to join our group and would like to read this book for our next meeting – February 2nd – please get in touch.
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