I love reading and devour books. Last year I was invited to join a book club. I cannot even begin to express my excitement! There are 8 of us in the club and we rotate book choices through the group to make sure we read a variety of genres. We are all mums and have met through various friends and 2 other members are part of my NCT group. This year I am going to share my thoughts about the books I am reading both through the club and my own personal choices.
The first book is a book club choice we met yesterday to discuss. Among Others by Jo Walton is a fantasy/sci-fi book written in a diary entry style from the perspective of a Welsh teenage girl, Mori, who we learn has recently lost her twin sister. Set in the late 70's, the plot begins after a tragic incident which is never completely explained but has caused her twin's death and left her crippled. Mori blames the tragedy on an incident with her schizophrenic mother (who she believes to be a witch) and has run away, resulting in Mori being forced to live with her estranged Father and his somewhat odd Sisters in England, who immediately pack her off to boarding school.
Most of the narrative revolves around Mori's unhappy life at the boarding school with references back to her life before her sister died and the tragedy. There are two central themes running through the narrative; Firstly Mori believes in magic and that she can talk to fairies and, secondly, her love of books, in particular science fiction novels.
This book really divided opinion. Three people hadn't even managed to finish it despite being nearly two months since our last meeting! I must admit I struggled too. I was not gripped by the story and it the short chapter structure meant I'd read only a few pages at each sitting. Some found it more compelling but nearly all agreed it was not a page turner.
Plot wise there was a lot of discussion over whether Mori's magic was real or a defence mechanism created to escape an obviously crazy mother figure. Mori's love of science fiction novels also stimulated conversation with some loving her constant reference to sci fi authors and books (most of which none of us had heard of) whilst others found it excluding and difficult to relate to.
Overall a slow, plodding read where the most poignant element of the story happens off camera and is never properly addressed. 5/10