Charlie Byrne’s Book Club got off to a flying start with our first choice – Jane Gardam’s Old Filth. Attendance was good – 13-14 members who had all done their homework, and had read and enjoyed the book.
Discussion was lively, everybody had something to say, as much about Jane Gardam’s writing style – warm and witty – as about her depiction of the characters.
The portrait of “Old Filth” (Failed In London, Try Hong Kong) stayed in the memory long after finishing the book. We were left wanting to know more about the individual characters and have since found out our questions should be answered in two further books – The Man in the Wooden Hat and Last Friends (just published in April 2013).
Our evening was made even more enjoyable when we read a letter written by Gardam in reply to a letter written to her several years ago by one of the book club members. Her writing – so warm and personal – made us all feel as if we knew her.
Some of us were lucky enough to attend a discussion of Tishani Doshi’s novel The Pleasure Seekers during the Cúirt International Festival of Literature in April, and we look forward to further discussion of this novel at our next meeting.