It was with some trepidation that I first suggested the idea of a book group for the shop; having never been to one before I half imagined that it might involve heated intellectual debates that turn into long asides about one person’s view of semiotics (this may have something to do with reading one too many David Lodge novels). Despite this it seemed like a good idea and once I had vaguely suggested it I couldn’t stop people asking me about it.
So there I found myself last Tuesday night, stood in an empty shop, desperately hoping that someone, anyone would turn up. And they did, with wine and cheerful, chattiness. There were only six of us but that was quite enough to be going on with. After a brief interlude in which everyone tried to come up with some interesting Balham-related facts (few and far-between) we got down the business of the book (Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson).
I think it would be fair to say that even among the six of us there was quite a division of opinion with those people who were familiar with Jeanette Winterson’s other work taking a general dislike to the book. It was interesting to see so many different reactions to the same text and to have a discussion informed by the very recent publication of Jeanette Winterson’s autobiography.
All in all, a very good first run, I can’t wait to do it again!