The Old Drift

“The Old Drift” by Namwali Serpell (Zambia) Review This book was initially chosen for our Summer Reading Group 2019, but because of its length, most readers didn’t manage to finish it on time. As a result, we organised a one-off book club meeting to discuss it. To start with, readers were concerned by the scope of this book, fearing that they would be overwhelmed by … Continue reading The Old Drift

The Travelling Cat Chronicles

“The Travelling Cat Chronicles” by Hiro Arikawa (Japan) Synopsis Set against the backdrop of Japan’s changing seasons and narrated with a rare gentleness and humour, Nana’s story explores the wonder and thrill of life’s unexpected detours. It is about the value of friendship and solitude, and knowing when to give and when to take… Read more Review The four shortlisted books for this year’s Summer … Continue reading The Travelling Cat Chronicles

Behold the Dreamers

“Behold the Dreamers” by Imbolo Mbue (Cameroon) Review An easy read was the overarching first impression of this book. Readers agreed that the story flowed well and they had no difficulty finishing it. They warmed quickly to most of the protagonists and liked the fact that they were all flawed on some level. Readers felt that the way the author portrayed the immigrant experience rang … Continue reading Behold the Dreamers

Lyrics Alley

“Lyrics Alley” by Leila Aboulela (Sudan) Review Readers enjoyed this well-told story, finding it engaging and easy to read. They felt it was more of a love story than a political novel as the historical setting remains mostly in the background. Readers liked the style of writing and said it played a large part in their enjoyment of the book. They warmed to all the … Continue reading Lyrics Alley

Human Acts

“Human Acts” by Han Kang (South Korea) Review Readers described this book as a lyrically written account of a horrendous event and its aftermath. They felt that the descriptions swayed from hard and heavy – with the passages on decomposing corpses and torture – to ethereal – with the ghost reflecting on what happens after death and the survivors’ memories. Readers found the linked stories … Continue reading Human Acts

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 CΕ“ur 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 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