By Kit Darling
In May we discussed American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin. This New York Times Bestseller is described as an antidote for anyone suffering Downtown Abbey withdrawal. Cora, only daughter of a very rich flour magnate and an ambitious mother, is taken to England with the express purpose of finding a titled husband. Her mother is hoping for a prince but she finds a duke with an appropriately ramshackle home and little money. What seemed to start as a marriage for love begins to appear to be a marriage for American money. Romance however wins out in the end. Reaction to the book was mixed. Some of us liked it, enjoying the easy read and descriptions of the lifestyle of New York elite and English aristocracy at the end of the 19th century. Others felt that the ending was more cinematic than literary. The distinction between England and the US in terms of discrimination were commented upon – the U.S was focused on discriminating based upon race – England upon class. And finally, some described the ending as “a bodice ripper”.
And here are some recommended reads from our members, all of which are available from the Hamilton Public Library. Visit the Bookmobile at Bennetto Recreation Centre on Tuesday (2:30 to 4:30) and Thursday (6:00 to 8:00).
Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis Winner of Canada Reads 2017, this charming novel supposes that the gods Apollo and Hermes decide to give dogs human intelligence in order to determine if that will make them more unhappy than humans are. Is intelligence a gift or a plague? Follow the lives of fifteen dogs who escape from a Toronto veterinary clinic. Alexis fills the novel with recognizable “doggy” behaviour as he also puts them in situations that demand human contact and understanding. A strange but satisfying story that makes you wonder exactly how we cope with our gift. Paige Turner
The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittal A challenging and thought provoking novel that examines the impact on a family when the father, a respected teacher and ‘pillar of the community’ is arrested and charged with sexual impropriety with some female students. Reactions from disbelief, anger and grief and eventually, forgiveness are examined through the lens of the wife, teenage daughter, grown son and the community. Kit
Have you read any of our recommendations? Liked any of the same books we talked about or disagreed totally? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org .