For the October Book Group we discussed Petina Gappah’s latest novel, The Book of Memory, published in paperback this year. Longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, which was won this year by Lisa McInerney’s The Glorious Heresies, Gappah was listed among other prestigious names such as Anne Enright and Hanya Yanagihara.
So, what did we make of it? This was an interesting discussion as everyone had a very different take on what affected them about this novel, but all (except one!) were united in really enjoying the writing, the structure and the way the story’s multiple layers were revealed piece by piece.
Key touchstones for the discussion were the reliability of narrators and realistic characterisation, as well as the setting of Zimbabwe in depicting African culture.
Next month, in November, the Book Group will be discussing Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, the story of a marriage and Barack Obama’s book of 2015.
We also decided the book for the December Book Group, which will be Alice Munro’s short story collection Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage.