Pat Clark sent me this report on her book group following a long telephone conversation. She has a particular interest in The Jewel of St. Petersburg as well as having found it to be a brilliant book, because she happens to know the author, Kate Furnivall, personally.
Anyway, apart from having a genuine 'Lady' this has to be a model for so many groups around the country - and none the worse for that.
"Stanmore Book Club
The Stanmore Book Club, which was originally an offshoot of the Kenton National Housewives Register, was started by Carol, a teacher, in 1979 with the first meeting in her home. Since then we have met every month in the homes of members and have had an average of 12–14 all lady membership. We have a complete list of the books we have read during that time, as well as the people who recommended them.
We have a party evening each summer and at Christmas when everyone contributes food and we choose a lighthearted general subject. There are 13 members at present and we take it in turn to recommend, research, and present a book, so the opportunity to do so comes around every 13 or 14 months. This results in a very eclectic choice of books and some lively, often deep, discussions. We are a very noisy group and the evening is often punctuated by gales of laughter.
The age group ranges from fifties to seventies and we all have very different points of view, especially as we have members who are French, American and Austrian. A number of the group have degrees and are teachers or retired teachers, and we have a real 'Lady' among us, which caused some excitement when her husband was knighted.
The original aim of the National Housewives Register was to get away from talk of family and children and just be an individual but nowadays there always seems to be at least one new grandchild which has arrived, or is expected, since the previous meeting! We hope they will all follow in our footsteps and develop a great love of books and reading.