March’s book club was a special one, as the group were invited to be the pilot for a research study into how book groups respond to Iris Murdoch. Thankfully we responded positively, with almost everyone finishing and enjoying the book!
We were asked to read The Bell, a book that centres around the various characters in a newly formed religious community attached to a nearby Abby. The reasons why the characters ended up in the community and their individual struggles were a big focus for the book, as was the idea of what it is to be good.
Surprisingly, given the reaction to some of the books we’ve read recently, the book club responded almost entirely favourably to the book. Everyone relished the opportunity to read a modern literary classic, though were surprised by its modern language, given it was written in 1958. The book’s focus on its characters, rather than a driven plot gave ample points for discussion, particularly on the outsiders of the community.
Next month we are reading ‘Solar’ by Ian McEwan and will be meeting on Thursday 28th April, 6pm on the communal table at the Church Street branch of Urban Coffee Company. As always, everyone is welcome – including those that haven’t finished the novel!