Book Club, monthly on Mondays, 6.30 pm 

Whislt we may not be able to come together physically to discuss our chosen book we are pleased to be able to run Book club online during the current Coronavirus outbreak. Details of the our book choice for September is listed below.

Join via Zoom.

Members and guests welcome. For more information please contact: Denise Bonham on denise.bonham@shaarei-tsedek.org.uk

Monday 11 October

‘Every Man for Himself’ – Beryl Bainbridge

WINNER OF THE WHITBREAD PRIZE FOR FICTION 1996
WINNER OF THE COMMONWEALTH WRITERS’ PRIZE 1997

‘A narrative both sparkling and deep… the cost of raising [the Titanic] is prohibitive; Bainbridge does the next best thing’ Hilary Mantel

‘Brilliant…do not miss this novel’ Daily Telegraph

‘A moving, microcosmic portrait of an era’s bitter end’ The Times

Synopsis

‘Every Man for Himself’,  is the tale of a young american man Morgan and the four fateful days that he sails on the Titanic.

Through Morgan’s narration Bainbridge creates an interesting viewpoint of society at the time. Morgan is rich, not by birth through ‘family’ rather a benefactor Uncle. He is seen as the nouveau riche which is a curse and a blessing amongst the richest of the rich who sailed onboard, for it was the ticket to have. He is idealistic though and so his sympathies lie with the lower classes on board and the staff, ‘the unfortunates’.

Source: https://savidgereads.wordpress.com/

Monday 8 November

‘The Orphans Daughter’ – Jan Cherubin

A father’s boyhood experience of abandonment shadows his fraught relationship with his daughter in this novel.

Synopsis

Cherubin’s book braids together three narratives exploring the life of a Jewish family in New York and Baltimore from the 1920s to the ’80s. One follows Joanna Aronson as she cares for her father, Clyde, during his latest struggle with cancer while butting heads with her stepmother, Brenda, a cold woman whom Joanna suspects of neglecting him and even trying to kill him. Interspersed are Joanna’s memories of growing up in suburban Baltimore with her sister and parents in the ’60s, a life that seems idyllic yet seethes with subterranean discontents. Clyde, an English teacher, dominates the family with his charisma but undermines it with his affairs, including a liaison with one of Joanna’s teenage acquaintances. Joanna’s mother, Evie, feels trapped in housewifery and longs for the fulfillment she felt as a Communist Party activist. Joanna, though drawn like Clyde to the life of the mind, feels slighted because of his wish that she had been a boy. A colleague of her father’s seduces her at age 14. Threading through the story is Clyde’s memoir of growing up with his brother, Harry, in New York’s National Hebrew Orphan Home after his father abandoned the family and his mother placed the two boys there in 1924. It’s a Dickensian story of cold, hunger, loneliness, frequent beatings, and sexual abuse, but it’s lit with friendships and intellectual ambitions. Cherubin’s bittersweet tale is an epic and indelible character study of Clyde from frightened cub to kvetching lion in winter, with overtones of King Lear and an occasional queasily incestuous vibe. She writes in evocative prose that mixes astringent reality with glowing reverie. (“I sized up the three agents,” recalls Evie of a visit from the FBI during the Joseph McCarthy era. “Cold, smug, and bored. They could not begin to understand how alive I was during the war, how urgent and meaningful my life was thanks to the CP. How engaged I was with the world… I still miss those days.”) As Joanna grapples with her clan’s vexed legacy, the author shows how both betrayal and forgiveness can propagate across generations.
An alternately dark and luminous, wounded and affectionate portrait of a family in crisis.

Source: https://www.goodreads.com/