Dufton Book Club
Book List for 2017
Black Rabbit Hall – Eve Chase 10th Feb (Love Reading)
One golden family. One fateful summer. Four lives changed forever.
Amber Alton knows that the hours pass differently at Black Rabbit Hall, her London family’s country estate where no two clocks read the same. Summers there are perfect, timeless. Not much ever happens. Until, one stormy evening in 1968, it does.
The idyllic world of the four Alton children is shattered. Fiercely bonded by the tragic events, they grow up fast. But when a glamorous stranger arrives, these loyalties are tested. Forbidden passions simmer. And another catastrophe looms…
Decades later, Lorna and her fiancé wind their way through the countryside searching for a wedding venue. Lorna is drawn to a beautiful crumbling old house she hazily remembers from her childhood, feels a bond she does not understand. When she finds a disturbing message carved into an old oak tree by one of the Alton children, she begins to realise that Black Rabbit Hall’s secret history is as dark and tangled as its woods, and that, much like her own past, it must be brought into the light.
A thrilling spiral into the hearts of two women separated by decades but inescapably linked by Black Rabbit Hall. A story of forgotten childhood and broken dreams, secrets and heartache, and the strength of a family’s love
First 15 Lives of Harry August – Claire North 31st March (R&J)
Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.
No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. ‘I nearly missed you, Doctor August,’ she says. ‘I need to send a message.’
This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.
The Memory Book – Rowan Coleman 19th May (R&J)
When time is running out, every moment is precious…
When Claire starts to write her Memory Book, she already knows that this scrapbook of mementoes will soon be all her daughters and husband have of her. But how can she hold onto the past when her future is slipping through her fingers…?
The Snow Goose – Paul Gallico 28th July (Suggested by Michael Morpego)
Classic storytelling from a bestselling author. Gallico’s most famous story, THE SNOW GOOSE, is set in the wild, desolate Essex marshes and is an intense and moving tale about the relationship between a hunchback and a young girl.
The Polyglots – William Gerhardie 29th Sept. (Suggested by William Boyd)
William Gerhardie is one of our immortals. He is our Gogol’s Overcoat. We all came out of him.’ Olivia Manning ‘He is a comic writer of genius ? but his art is profoundly serious.’ C.P. Snow First published in 1925, this is perhaps the most acclaimed of William Gerhardie’s novels and was celebrated by Anthony Powell as ‘a classic’. Like his first novel, Futility, The Polyglots draws largely on personal experience. It is the story of an eccentric Belgian family living in the Far East in the uncertain years after World War I and the Russian Revolution. The tale is recounted by their dryly conceited young English relative, Captain Georges Hamlet Alexander Diabologh, who comes to stay with them during a military mission. Teeming with bizarre characters – depressives, obsessives, paranoiacs, hypochondriacs, and sex maniacs – Gerhardie paints a brilliantly absurd world where the comic and the tragic are profoundly and irrevocably entwined.
Ragnarok, The end of the Gods – A.S. Byatt 24th November (Love Reading)
As the bombs rain down in the Second World War, one young girl is evacuated to the English countryside. Struggling to make sense of her new wartime life, she is given a copy of a book of ancient Norse myths and her inner and outer worlds are transformed. Linguistically stunning and imaginatively abundant, this mesmerising tale – inspired by the myth of Ragnarok – is a landmark piece of storytelling from one of the world’s truly great writers