Report on The Page Turners Meeting - Meeting, Thursday, 27 April 2017
Patrick Gale seems to be quite a fixture with reading groups up and down the country (maybe this
could have something to do with an earlier title Notes from an Exhibition was a Richard and Judy’s
choice for their book club back in 2007 and A Place Called Winter having been shortlisted for the
Costa Novel Award 2015)
A Place Called Winter is his seventeenth book. This one is based upon family stories of Gale’s
ancestor Harry who fled looming disgrace in England to farm a few bleak acres in Canada. Brought
up as an English gentleman, Harry was soon risking bringing the family reputation crashing down
when he began a passionate affair with Hector Browning. Harry is forced to rescue the situation by
moving to Canada to farm on the frontier. He meets on the journey a man who will go onto change
his life yet again; ultimately for the better, but not before serious trials and hardships.
Our group found the novel easy to read as the story followed a clear thread that did not require
much work to enjoy the story. It moves along smartly and although not deemed”unputdownable”,
the writing kept everyone engaged. The narrative evokes the landscape of the early farmers; the
isolation, the hard graft and the social mores that Harry had to get to grips with when moving
completely out from his known world.
One message that hit a clear note with one of the group was …“To find yourself you must lose
everything” A sound epitaph for this novel.
Our scores averaged out at 7.5
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- Report by Ellen Schofield