Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Book Club - September 2011

Our book for September was Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant. As I had read this way back in August (on holiday) and really enjoyed it I volunteered to "lead" the discussion and what an easy task it was this month. For the first time ever we had a unanimous like from every Book Club member.

The story is set in a convent following the story of the young Seraphina sent to the convent under duress and Zuana who has been in the convent for a number of years. T
o start with the story and descriptions are a bit slow but after a while I loved the detail and complexity of the relationships and politics of convent life.

If you haven't read it but decide to, then really do stick with it as it does take a while "to get going" but by the end you won't be able to turn the pages quick enough. Oh and if you are put off by the potential religious nature of the book - don't be because in a funny way it's not actually that religious even though it's about nuns!

Only minor disagreement we had at Book Club was that some liked the ending some not.

I was very glad that we have a member who studies Italian to tell us how to correctly pronounce all the names - and what beautiful names -  Seraphina, Zuana, 
Magdalena, Chiara (by the way if you know how to say chianti then you know how to pronouce Chiara).

So a resounding success. I'd really like to go back and read it again one day.

For anyone who is interested here are my questions for the evening although I hardly needed to lead the discussion because we all had so much to talk about (not always the case):

Did we like it?

Would you prefer to go into a convent or be married off?
Do you think convents are that political?
Did you like the ending?
Did you think Zuana should have kept the secret?
Did you feel sorry for the Abbess?
Did you get much sense that it was set in 1570 or was it timeless?
Was it a shame that Zuana was there - would she have been happier "outside"?

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