#Bookclub on Facebook Live 26 October 2017

We’ll be chatting about the books we’ve been reading during autumn at our virtual Book Club on Facebook Live at 8pm Thursday 26 October. Pop over and join us for some book chat and enter to win our competition when you comment during the live.

What’s nicer then curling up with a good book during autumn. Here’s what we’ve been reading…

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

‘Sometimes I whisper it over to myself: Murderess. Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt along the floor.’ Grace Marks. Female fiend? Femme fatale? Or weak and unwilling victim? Around the true story of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the 1840s, Margaret Atwood has created an extraordinarily potent tale of sexuality, cruelty and mystery.

Read Amy Beeson’s book review of Alias Grace now.

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good job, four bossy sisters and a needy cat must also have want of her one true love. Or is it?

Verity Love Jane Austen fangirl and an introvert in a world of extroverts is perfectly happy on her own (thank you very much), and her fictional boyfriend Peter is very useful for getting her out of unwanted social events. But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated.

Read Amy Beeson’s book review of True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop now.

The Woman at 72 Derry Lane by Carmel Harrington

On a leafy suburban street in Dublin, beautiful, poised Stella Greene lives with her
successful husband, Matt. The perfect couple in every way, Stella appears to have it all.
Next door, at number 72 however, lives Rea Brady. Gruff, bad-tempered and rarely seen
besides the twitching of her net curtains, rumour has it she’s lost it all…including her
marbles if you believe the neighbourhood gossip.

But appearances can be deceiving and when Stella and Rea’s worlds collide they realise
they have much in common. Both are trapped in a prison of their own making. Has help been next door without them realising it? Read Author Amy Beeson’s book review of The Woman at 72 Derry Lane.

We’ll be giving away a copy of The Woman at 72 Derry Lane during our Facebook Live. Comment to enter.

A Cornish Gift by Fern Britton

Christmas comes to the little village of Pendruggan and Cornwall’s very own Mr Rochester, Piran Ambrose, discovers the true meaning of the festive season when even he can’t resist the village celebrations. Meanwhile, best friends Penny and Helen are embarking on a stolen weekend of blissful indulgence but best laid plans often go awry and the ladies are in for a big surprise. In an idyllic cottage on the Cornish cliffs, the Appleby family and their bearded collie, Molly, are having a holiday to remember. It’s time for a little Cornish escape for all.

Join us for Book Club

We’ll be chatting about the books we’ve been reading during autumn at our virtual Book Club on Facebook Live at 8pm Thursday 26 October.

‘Alias Grace’ by Margaret Atwood #BookReview #BookBloggers @MargaretAtwood @ViragoBooks #AliasGrace

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood was first published in Great Britain by Bloomsbury in 1996 and then Virago Press in 1997. It was Short-listed for the Man-Booker Prize in 1996 before Atwood won the Booker Prize with another incredible book ‘The Blind Assassin.’

I first read ‘Alias Grace’ after finished my degree in English Literature & Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in 2003. After watching The Handmaid’s Tale on Channel 4 this summer and rereading the book I decided to go back and read more Atwood. I found myself devouring her prose as hungrily as I did as an undergraduate. Though much has changed in my life and the world around us in those intermittent fifteen years my reading of the book has undoubtedly changed as well.

Now A TV Series

‘Alias Grace’ is currently a new series on Netflix and I’ll be certain to try to watch it very soon. There’s TV-tie-in edition of the book to accompany the six-part series.

‘Sometimes I whisper it over to myself: Murderess. Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt along the floor.’ Grace Marks. Female fiend? Femme fatale? Or weak and unwilling victim? Around the true story of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the 1840s, Margaret Atwood has created an extraordinarily potent tale of sexuality, cruelty and mystery.

The Plot

The book is set in Canada and is a work of fiction although it is based on the housemaid Grace Marks who was convicted at the age of sixteen with her supposed paramour and fellow servant James McDermott for the brutal murder of Mr Thomas Kinnear and his lover and housekeeper Nancy Montgomery in 1843. After which McDermott was hanged but after numperous petitions, Grace’s sentence was commuted to life imprisonment at Kingston Penitentiary

Dr Simon Jordan a young American is keen to establish his own asylum and is invited by the committee petitioning for Grace’s release to come to Kingston and write a report on her. In his efforts to uncover the truth, Dr Jordan spends afternoons with Grace as she sews for the Governor’s wife and daughters at the Governor’s house. As Grace spins out the tale of her impoverished childhood in Ireland, emigrating to Canada and her work as a domestic servant Dr Jordan is ensnared by her story and so are we.

A book where fact and fiction is so intimate, sinister and blurred it is a fascinating revelation of the sensual workings of the mind and the grubby realities of the body. Is Grace the victim or do we want her to possess the power of a murderess? As Dr Jordan strives and fails to uncover the real Grace, we the reader switch places with him as analyst as we learn about his actions, feelings and fantasies. When all is said and done it is Grace herself who has the last word.

Reviewed by Amy Beeson

Book club Discussion

We’ll be chatting about Alisa Grace at our virtual Book Club on Facebook Live at 8pm Thursday 26 October. Pop over and join us for some book chat.

Come to Facebook Live Book Club on Thursday

Come to Book Club with Sarah Beeson MBE and Amy Beeson 8-9pm Thursday 22 September on Facebook Live

Join us with a glass of wine or a mug of tea from the comfort of your own home for a little bit of book chat. We’ll be finding out what readers think of our new book Our Country Nurse and talking about what we’re reading in the Beeson Household this September.

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TAKE PART

All you have to do is scoot on over to Facebook between 8-9pm to see what we’re up to. It’s a complete free-for-all and you don’t even have to leave your own sofa.

Tell us what you’re reading, give us some hot tips for books to read this autumn and share with us your thoughts on Our Country Nurse.

The books we’re reading at the moment include Mapp & Lucia by EF Benson, Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy, Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens, The Secret Wife by Gill Paul and the audiobook of Our Country Nurse.

See you later book worms.

Sarah and Amy x