Tuesday, 18 February 2014
What I've Been Reading: Naughty Girls Book Club by Sophie Hart
So, there I was casting my eye over the book section in my local Tesco when this title popped out. There is something to be said for a title that just draws me in.
In part this one appealed as I've always wanted to be part of a book club, and I've not always toed the line either.
Instead of buying this novel there and then, I went home and work on the pile of books I already have set aside to read. However, it kept appearing on my Kindle recommendations list, so I fear that the universe spoke to me and I got it. My father in law has lent me his Kindle for the time being. I really must get around to getting my own.
Anyhoo, back to the book in hand. Divorced, single mother Estelle owns a small cafe and bakery in Bristol (in my head I've imagined it as the tea shop that was at the top of Park Street 15ish years ago).
Her elderly neighbours, a couple with a bookshop are closing the door on their business, and an idea begin to bloom in Estelle's mind. Why not start a book club?
In an effort to boost takings during a slow month at the cafe Estelle is joined by feminist librarian Gracie, bored newlywed Rebecca, freshly-retired Sue and Phd student Reggie (who is there just to 'observe' for his thesis honest!).
At the first meeting the group discuss Tess of the D'Ubervilles. It would appear it didn't exactly prick at the interest of the fledgling reading group, accidentally Estelle's bag fell open to reveal a battered copy of Ten Sweet Lessons, the 'IT' book of the moment.
SIDE NOTE: Ten Sweet Lessons is there as a vehicle for the novel and is basically there to emulate the phenomenon that was Fifty Shades of Grey.
Embarrassed to be seen with a mass-market erotic book Estelle quickly bluffs that it is to be the group's next tome. This peaks the members' interest in many ways.
Meeting by meeting the group reads various 'naughty' books from Riders and Lace to the Marquis de Sade's Justine.
The more they read the more adventurous the group grow in their own lives. Rebecca approaches married life with a new vigour, Gracie stated to open her mind to new ideas and romance, Sue realised what is missing from her life, Reggie makes his mind up and Estelle falls in love.
This is an nice and easy read, not without a few naughty bits of it's own. The way Hart has managed to interlink each group member's story and it was a joy to see them grow with each chapter. I'm now going to see if she has any other books I can add to my Amazon wish list!
To buy it in Paperback
Or on Kindle