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Autumn page turners


As summer turns to autumn (did anyone


by Claire Elford, Hassocks Book Club


notice?), the nights draw in and


you realise that once again there is nothing worth watching on any of those 50 TV channels you pay for, the Hassocks Book Club suggests you seek refuge in one of these page turners!


When G o d was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman


Undoubtedly my favourite book of the year, and one that provoked lengthy discussion, making it a perfect book club choice. This character led novel opens in Essex in 1968 and focuses on schoolgirl Elly Portman and her relationships with her family, particularly her elder brother Joe and her best friend Jenny Penny. The Portman famil y are colourful, eccentric and non-conformist which makes for some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments, especially in the fi rst half of the book. When the family move to Cornwall, the family dynamics change and to an extent so does the pace and fervour of the novel, but those wonderfully developed characters and a mystical undercurrent that permeates the novel will keep you hooked to the very end... and yes, there is a rabbit!


Starter for Ten by David Nicholls


Every L ast One by Anna Quindlen


I grabbed this off the shelf because the front cover had a picture of a sweet little house on it and I wanted a predictable and cheery read to take on holiday; this book is neither. However, what you do get is a very well observed portrait of family life as recounted by Mary Beth Latham, the central character and all American ‘Mom’. She accurately describes the jetsam and fl otsam of life with kids, husband, work and friends, to the point where you become complacent (and frankly a little bored) but then one event in the Lathham family life results in dramatic consequences, and you could almost be reading a different book.


74


SUSSEX LIVING October 2011


David Nicholls is the man of the moment with his novel One Day still riding high in the paperback chart and of course now a major fi lm. Starter for Ten is an earlier work, set in the 1980s and it tells the story of geeky Brian Jackson as he leaves home to attend university with only one goal in mind, to become part of the University Challenge team. Brian is a fantastically drawn comic character who, in keeping with many teenage boys, lacks basic social skills and awareness, resulting in some hilarious, cringeworthy situations and dialogue. This novel lacks the emotional punch of One Day, but for lighthearted escapism you can’t beat it.


www.sussexliving.com


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