About

Hello there. I’m Janet and I recently set up a Book Club in my home town of Neath, South Wales. I’m really glad I did as we have a great evening every 5 weeks. The group is made up of your typical ‘I don’t have time to read’ book lovers, but we always manage to read our club book (well almost all of us, but even then, book read or not read, Andrea always takes part in the discussion and contributes in the most creative way! )

We would like to invite you to please contribute to our Blog. Do you have a Book club? Let’s share ideas and get in touch!

Our club is now a mixed group with the arrival of Adam!! Adam is not only male, an avid reader and a first class contributor but he’s also young!! A lot younger than the girls but rest assured we are ALL young at heart!! We have lots of fun at club meetings with plenty to eat and drink! We have animated discussions and often agree to disagree on many issues.  Here are the books we have read to date. By clicking on some of them you will be taken to the Blog page where we would really welcome your comments. Thank you very much. Be well and enjoy your reading.

gone-girl   owen meaney    i let you go    oveharry    i am pilgrim     stupidest angel    The_goldfinch_by_donna_tart a God in Ruins    room     ruby    Big Little Lies

Fish Bowl   the-truth-and-other-lies-blue kavalier-and-klay  sleepers-castle

all-the-light-we-cannot-see-9781476746586_hr  the trouble with goats The Dry railroad

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “About

  1. Oh wow; I’ve just finished Big Little Lies and absolutely loved it on so many different levels. At first I thought it was a light hearted romp through school life, hilariously funny and a brilliant take on kindy kids and mums; the dialogue at the end of each chapter highlighting such differences in people’s perceptions of the same events is clever and funny; Liane just seems to get people. However beneath the light hearted humour and school yard gossip lie sinister undertones which keep you guessing throughout and she touches on much darker themes to include domestic violence, bullying, infidelity, sexual cruelty and childhood traumas as she explores the impact these bigger evils have upon her characters which ultimately leads to the violent and disastrous outcome of Trivia night. I thought it was a terrific read and completely relevant to our current schooling system, as I’m sure all the characters are instantly recognizable within the schools our children inhabit; the poor young teacher struggling to cope not just with the children but the pushy, educated parents whose expectations and demands are sky high especially those who are convinced that their offspring are gifted. I feel I have learnt a lot about domestic violence now thanks to this book and I Let you go; in both books beautiful, intelligent, sensitive women are completely captivated and beguiled by their seemingly charismatic, charming partners and once trapped into motherhood and marriage find it almost impossible to plan an escape route from the escalating abuse and violence they endure. In Big Little Lies you know from the start that a death is inevitable and as I got to know the characters better I virtually read the book in three sittings as I wanted to know which of the main protagonists would be the victim and tried to guess in advance the outcome of Trivia night. I can’t wait to read another book of hers now; I think she did a terrific job.

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    1. Hi Clare. I set this group up last year as I had always wanted to belong to a book club but couldn’t find one. You are more than welcome to join us. We are meeting tomorrow night after a summer’s break to discuss the books ‘The Truth and Other Lies’ and ‘Fishbowl’. We will be a depleted group as many can’t make it but those who can attend will be there. It’s very relaxed and low key. Most of us read the books but some don’t get round to it and some of us don’t always finish them!! If you are on FB you can message me by looking for Janet Francis-Jones. I can give you directions and more information that way. If tomorrow is too short notice then I can let you know when we will meet next month and which book to read but you are welcome to come and meet us tomorrow even though you have not read the books!

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  2. I liked Sleepers’ Castle and found it a pleasant, absorbing read which linked the lives of two women five centuries apart through their ghostly entanglement. I love a good ghost story so this entertained me and it was also interesting to learn about Welsh history in the fourteenth/ fifteenth centuries; this is a period of history of which I know very little so reading about the daily lives of Catrin, Dafydd and Joan has helped educate me to a point in that department. The author herself admits that she is not sure if all her facts are historically correct regarding Owen Glyndwr’s escapades but in writing a novel she is entitled to some poetic imagination and it is certainly true that he laid waste to many of his own castles in this early fight for independence; once again the bleakness and horror of war are laid bare and its destructiveness deftly described.
    Coming to the modern day, Andy is a slightly annoying character as she tends to take on the role of a victim and does not have any inclination to fight for her rights or stand up to the evil Rhona and in that she is a polar opposite of Catrin who was a much feistier character. She tends to stand back helplessly from unpleasant situations, run away instead of standing to fight but luckily for her she has a knight in shining armour to battle for her in the form of the handsome gardener stroke psychologist together with the local Welsh wizard who interprets her increasingly menacing dreams and gives her helpful Rosemary remedies. I have to say that her friend Sian supported her to a point but come every terrifying moment had to back away and left Andy in the lurch and to the potential clutches of the evil Dafydd in order to feed or walk her wretched dogs. How many dinners did those dogs have? Didn’t she realise the ghost was on his way?(intent on imprisoning Andy in the past? )
    Overall this was a well written narrative account of the lives and dreams of these women; it lacked the creative imagery, style and depths of characterization of some of the other books we have read but as an absorbing, light bedtime/ holiday read it was able to keep the pages turning. She has a passion for the beauty of Wales and brought it to life the Wye valley area; you can almost smell and taste the herbs in her garden, hear the continuous music of the turbulent stream and picture the castle and ruggedly bleak landscape of the Black mountains in contrast to the gentleness of Hay.

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