To the Back of Beyond

“To the Back of Beyond” by Peter Stamm (Switzerland) Synopsis Happily married with two children and a comfortable home in a Swiss town, Thomas and Astrid enjoy a glass of wine in their garden on a night like any other. Called back to the house by their son’s cries, Astrid goes inside, expecting her husband to join her in a bit. But Thomas gets up … Continue reading To the Back of Beyond

The Golden Legend

“The Golden Legend” by Nadeem Aslam (Pakistan) Review Distinctly historical fiction or with a clear taste of history both past and present, the four shortlisted books for this year’s Summer Reading Group were all of excellent calibre making it tough to settle on just one favourite. Our readers also noticed a recurrent theme in all four of violence and hardship and regretted that the summer … Continue reading The Golden Legend

The Chosen Maiden

“The Chosen Maiden” by Eva Stachniak (Poland) Review “The Chosen Maiden” by Eva Stachniak (Poland), a close runner-up, was chosen as the Summer Reading Group’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2017. It was the longest of the four books, and masterly mixes fact and fiction to tell the story of the Nijinsky siblings from the point of view of the sister, Bronia. Readers loved their story, … Continue reading The Chosen Maiden

The Underground Railroad

“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead (U.S.) Review “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead (U.S.) is set in the pre-Civil war era in the southern states of America and tells the story of a slave’s journey to freedom using the eponymous route. There were mixed reactions to this book with most readers liking it whereas some found the subject matter too hard to handle for … Continue reading The Underground Railroad

The Woman Next Door

“The Woman Next Door” by Yewande Omotoso (South Africa) Review “The Woman Next Door” by Yewande Omotoso (South Africa) is set in modern-day Cape Town and is about the strained relationship between two elderly neighbours, one black and one white. Readers found this an easy story to get into, and to some extent it was a light relief compared to the other three. They liked … Continue reading The Woman Next Door

Sleeping on Jupiter

“Sleeping on Jupiter” by Anuradha Roy (India)  Review From a classic plot-driven novel to an unusual collective ‘novel-essay,’ the four shortlisted books for this year’s Summer Reading Group varied greatly in structure, style of writing, and point of view. Our summer readers also noticed a recurrent theme in all four of dreams and their many meanings. At the end of the discussion, when it came … Continue reading Sleeping on Jupiter

Tram 83

“Tram 83” by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo) Review From a classic plot-driven novel to an unusual collective ‘novel-essay,’ the four shortlisted books for this year’s Summer Reading Group varied greatly in structure, style of writing, and point of view. Our summer readers also noticed a recurrent theme in all four of dreams and their many meanings. “Tram 83” was chosen as the … Continue reading Tram 83

The Story of My Teeth

“The Story of My Teeth” by Valeria Luiselli (Mexico) Review From a classic plot-driven novel to an unusual collective ‘novel-essay,’ the four shortlisted books for this year’s Summer Reading Group varied greatly in structure, style of writing, and point of view. Our summer readers also noticed a recurrent theme in all four of dreams and their many meanings. “The Story of My Teeth” is an … Continue reading The Story of My Teeth