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Book Club

Dufton Village Book Club is an informal group of people who like to read. We meet every two months in the village hall to talk about a book we might or might not have all read.  The list is posted in advance for the year, and we aren't precious about whether you have finished the book, read the book, or choose to come every time.  We have no formal structure or leader, but do
have really interesting conversations.  Anyone is welcome. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Anna Foot by e-mail: susannafoot@btconnect.com

Dufton Book Club 2024

 

11 April 2024 Textile themed books Read one or all

 

Threads of Life: Claire Hunter

Patchwork: A Life Amongst Clothes Claire Wilcox

This Golden Fleece Esther Rutter

 

 

6 June 2024 Black Butterflies Priscilla Morris

 

Sarajevo, spring 1992. Each night, nationalist gangs erect barricades, splitting the diverse city into ethnic enclaves; each morning, the residents - whether Muslim, Croat or Serb - push the makeshift barriers aside. When violence finally spills over, Zora, an artist and teacher, sends her husband and elderly mother to safety with her daughter in England. Reluctant to believe that hostilities will last more than a handful of weeks, she stays behind while the city falls under siege. As the assault deepens and everything they love is laid to waste, black ashes floating over the rooftops, Zora and her friends are forced to rebuild themselves, over and over. Theirs is a breath-taking story of disintegration, resilience and hope

 

1 August 2024 The Marriage Portrait Maggie O’Farrell

 

Florence, the 1560s.  Lucrezia, third daughter of Cosimo de’ Medici, is comfortable with her obscure place in the palazzo: free to wonder at its treasures, observe its clandestine workings, and to devote herself to her own artistic pursuits.  But when her older sister dies on the eve of marriage to Alfonso d’Este, ruler of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, Lucrezia is thrust unwittingly into the limelight: the duke is quick to request her hand in marriage, and her father to accept on her behalf. Having barely left girlhood behind, Lucrezia must now make her way in a troubled court whose customs are opaque and where her arrival is not universally welcomed. Perhaps most mystifying of all is her husband himself, Alfonso.  Is he the playful sophisticate her appears before their wedding, the aesthete happiest in the company of artists and musicians, or the ruthless politician before whom even his formidable sisters seem to tremble? As Lucrezia sits in uncomfortable finery for the painting which is to preserve her image for centuries to come, one thing becomes worryingly clear.  In the court’s eyes, she has one duty: to provide the heir who will shore up the future of the Ferrarese dynasty.  Until then, for all of her rank and nobility, the new duchess’s future hangs entirely in the balance.

 

3 October 2024 The Secret River Kate Grenville

 

Grenville’s award-winning, arresting tale of a Thames waterman being sent to New South Wales in the early nineteenth century is a sophisticated, passionate and disturbing dissection of the calamities of colonialism.

London, 1806. William Thornhill, happily wedded to his childhood sweetheart Sal, is a waterman on the River Thames. Life is tough but bearable until William makes a mistake, a bad mistake for which he and his family are made to pay dearly.His sentence: to be transported to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. Soon Thornhill, a man no better or worse than most, has to make the most difficult decision of his life.

 

5 December 2024 Lady Audley’s Secret Mary Elizabeth Braddon

 

'Lady Audley uttered a long, low, wailing cry, and threw up her arms above her head with a wild gesture of despair'

In this outlandish, outrageous triumph of scandal fiction, a new Lady Audley arrives at the manor: young, beautiful - and very mysterious. Why does she behave so strangely? What, exactly, is the dark secret this seductive outsider carries with her? A huge success in the nineteenth century, the book's anti-heroine - with her good looks and hidden past - embodied perfectly the concerns of the Victorian age with morality and madness.

 

All meetings in the Village Hall at 7.30 pm

Please note April s meeting is the 11th (not first Thursday ) due to Easter holidays

 

 

2025 Selections

Dates will be confirmed

 

6 February 2025 The Elegance of The Hedgehog Muriel Barberry

 

Renee is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, home to members of the great and the good. Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society's expectations of what a concierge should be. But beneath this facade lies the real Renee: passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives. Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Renee lives resigned to her lonely lot with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever. By turn moving and hilarious, this unusual novel became the top-selling book in France in 2007 with sales of over 900,000 copies to-date.

 

And The Adoption Papers Jackie Kay (Poetry)

Jackie Kay tells the story of a black girl’s adoption by a white Scottish couple – from three different viewpoints: the mother, the birth mother and the daughter. This unique and honest volume of poems has been adapted for radio. Also included in the book are new poems reflecting issues of sexuality, Scottishness and being working-class. Jackie Kay has been gathering a reputation for a few years as an outstanding young talent in British poetry and playwriting… The Adoption Papers could well become a key work of feminism in action… a wonderfully spirited, tender and crafted contribution to Scottish writing, to black writing, and to the poetry of our time.

 

3 April 2025 A Terrible Kindness Jo Browning Wroe

Nineteen-year-old William’s decision to volunteer at the tragic scene of the 1966 Aberfan landslide transforms his life forever in this moving story about sacrifice and compassion. When we go through something impossible, someone, or something, will help us, if we let them.It is October 1966 and William Lavery is having the night of his life at his first black-tie do. But, as the evening unfolds, news hits of a landslide at a coal mine. It has buried a school: Aberfan. William decides he must act, so he stands and volunteers to attend. It will be his first job as an embalmer, and it will be one he never forgets.His work that night will force him to think about the little boy he was, and the losses he has worked so hard to forget. But compassion can have surprising consequences, because - as William discovers - giving so much to others can sometimes help us heal ourselves.

 

5 June 2025 Piranesi Suzanna Clarke

Piranesi lives in the House. Perhaps he always has. In his notebooks, day after day, he makes a clear and careful record of its wonders: the labyrinth of halls, the thousands upon thousands of statues, the tides which thunder up staircases, the clouds which move in slow procession through the upper halls.On Tuesdays and Fridays Piranesi sees his friend, the Other. At other times he brings tributes of food and waterlilies to the Dead. But mostly, he is alone. Messages begin to appear, scratched out in chalk on the pavements. There is someone new in the House. But who are they and what do they want? Are they a friend or do they bring destruction and madness as the Other claimsLost texts must be found; secrets must be uncovered. The world that Piranesi thought he knew is becoming strange and dangerous. The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.

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