Dufton Book Club
Book list for 2019
Meeting at Dufton Village Hall in the new downstairs room at 7:30pm.
Feb 7th 2019 – The Kashmir Shawl; Rosie Thomas
In 1938, young bride Nerys Watkins accompanies her missionary husband on a posting to India. Up in
Srinagar, the British live on beautiful wooden houseboats and dance and gossip as if there is no war.
But when the men are sent away to fight Nerys is caught up in a dangerous friendship. Years later,
when Mair Ellis clears out her father’s house, she finds an antique shawl with a lock of child’s hair
wrapped up in its folds. Tracing her grandparents’ roots back to Kashmir, Mair uncovers a story of
great love and great sacrifice.
April 4th 2019 – The Gardens of Evening Mists; Tan Twan Eng
In the highlands of Malaya, a woman sets out to build a memorial to her sister, killed at the hands of
the Japanese during the brutal Occupation of their country. Yun Ling’s quest leads her to The Garden
of Evening Mists, and to Aritomo, a man of extraordinary skill and reputation, once the gardener of the
Emperor of Japan. When she accepts his offer to become his apprentice, she begins a journey into
her past, inextricably linked with the secrets of her troubled country’s history.
June 6th 2019 – The Pinecone; Jenny Uglow
In the village of Wreay, near Carlisle, stands the strangest and most magical church in Victorian
England. This vivid, original book tells the story of its builder, Sarah Losh, strong-willed and
passionate and unusual in every way. Born into an old Cumbrian family, heiress to an industrial
fortune, Sarah combined a zest for progress with a love of the past. In the church, her masterpiece,
she let her imagination flower – there are carvings of ammonites, scarabs and poppies; an arrow
pierces the wall as if shot from a bow; a tortoise-gargoyle launches itself into the air. And everywhere
there are pinecones, her signature in stone. The church is a dramatic rendering of the power of myth
and the great natural cycles of life and death and rebirth.
August 8th 2019 – The Boy Who Belonged To The Sea; Denis Thériault
Set on the rugged north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada, The Boy Who Belonged to the
Sea tells the touching story of an extraordinary friendship between two young boys who have both
suffered the loss of a parent. Although they have little else in common, the boys come together in
their grief and take refuge in a world of their own creation, a magical undersea realm inhabited by
fantastical beings. Their imaginations take them on a wild adventure, but as the lines between reality
and fantasy begin to blur, their search for belonging takes them on a perilous journey that threatens to
end in tragedy.
October 3rd 2019 – The Good Earth; Pearl S. Buck
Though more than seventy years have passed since this remarkable novel won the Pulitzer Prize, it
has retained its popularity and become one of the great modern classics. In The Good Earth Pearl S.
Buck paints an indelible portrait of China in the 1920s, when the last emperor reigned and the vast
political and social upheavals of the twentieth century were but distant rumblings. This moving, classic
story of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his selfless wife O-Lan is must reading for those who
would fully appreciate the sweeping changes that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese people
during the last century.
December 5th 2019 – The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet; David Mitchell
Be transported to a place like no other: a tiny, man-made island in the bay of Nagasaki, for two
hundred years the sole gateway between Japan and the West. Here, in the dying days of the 18th-
century, a young Dutch clerk arrives to make his fortune. Instead he loses his heart.
Step onto the streets of Dejima and mingle with scheming traders, spies, interpreters, servants and
concubines as two cultures converge. In a tale of integrity and corruption, passion and power, the key
is control – of riches and minds, and over death itself.