Report on Book Group Meeting - Meeting, Monday, 8 May 2017

Our group met last night to discuss our latest novel, "The Lives of Stella Bain" by Anita Shreve. As usual we had an interesting discussion with varying opinions and comments. The novel tells the story of Stella Bain whose real name is Etna Bliss. Etna is fleeing from traumatic personal circumstances in America and enlists in the Voluntary Aid Detachment serving in WW1 in France. Etna is caught up in a bombardment and is taken to one of the VAD stations suffering from a lost memory - hence her new name. Although we enjoyed the historical content and descriptions of life in the field hospitals, we did not feel as though the author had fully engaged with the horrors and deprivation which the armed forces suffered at this time. We thought that the story had a somewhat predictable, but happy, ending. If you have read any of Anita Shreve's other novels you may have encountered Etna Bliss in "All He Ever Wanted" which is about the early married life of Etna told from her husband's point of view.
Our scores for this novel ranged between 5 and 8 and averaged out at 7.

Next month we shall meet on the 12th June to discuss "The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy" by Rachel Joyce which is the sequel to "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" which we read and enjoyed last year - scored 7.8
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